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Space History Photo: Test Firing of Linear Aerospike Engine

space history, nasa, rocket propulsion
Three thrust cells of Linear Aerospike engines are tested in April of 1997. (Image credit: NASA | Dennis Olive.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, a Linear Aerospike engine to be used for propulsion for the X-33 Reusable Launch vehicle (RLV) is shown being tested on April 27, 1997. A testing of three thrust cells of Linear Aerospike engines was conducted to investigate injectors, chambers, and Aerospike ramps at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

The X-33 was intended to demonstrate advanced technologies that would dramatically increase launch vehicle reliability and lower the cost of putting a pound of payload into space.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov