With the recent successes of commercial spaceflight, university students have become increasingly interested in acquiring the skills and know-how to better contribute to the development of liquid propulsion systems in industry and academia. However, no program at ASU currently exists to provide the type of hands-on education that fully exposes students to the intricacies of liquid propulsion systems. To create such an industry-relevant and educational environment, the liquid propulsion team set out in fall of 2019 to design, manufacture, and test a liquid rocket engine from the ground up.

Efforts to build the liquid engine have been organized into four areas. These are project management, engine development, ground support equipment, and testing operations. Technical development is coordinated with three subteams, namely propulsion, avionics, and structures. While the propulsion subteam is mainly involved in engine development, the avionics and structures subteam are mostly responsible for the integration of associated infrastructure.


It was desirable to set requirements which would be feasible to execute, as the project team had little prior experience with liquid propulsion systems. Based on current bipropellant engines used on orbital launch vehicles, successful propulsion projects of other university teams, and preliminary trade studies, the following requirements were specified for the engine:

  • THRUST -> 405 lbf
  • THRUST DURATION -> 5 seconds
  • CHAMBER PRESSURE -> 250 psig
  • O/F -> liquid oxygen and kerosene
  • COOLING -> film cooling

Liquids Hot-fire 2023

Liquids Team Divisions




Test Operations


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