Southwest Research Institute to host course for rocket engineers this fall

Course will launch in October

San Antonio – Engineers and developers at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio said they’re hoping a new course they’ll offer this fall will help those in the rocket engineering field.

Grant Musgrove, manager of the Propulsion & Energy Section of the Machinery Department at SwRI, said with a lot of the top NASA engineers that made great advances more than three decades ago retiring, it’s important to pass on this knowledge.

“With the past decade or so, commercial spaceflight has really exploded. And so there's a lot of different rocket designs, engine designs, a lot of stuff wasn't done, hasn't been done, since the 80s and 70s,” Musgrove said.

An introductory course on liquid propellant system design and analysis for launch vehicles will be held in October. The course is for rocket engineers who are familiar with the fuel system that makes rockets go but need to learn the complex process of doing it in outer space. Engineers from around the world are invited.

“One of the reasons why we're doing this course is because there really isn't a good place to get this kind of training anywhere. It's generally on the job, learning from the graybeards, as they call it, and kind of picking it up that way,” Musgrove said.

He says SwRI researchers are well-versed in this type of research.

“We've been doing liquid sloshing analysis and testing for decades and decades, well before I was born at the start of the space program. We've got a number of test rigs that have supported some of the NASA work on sloshing,” Musgrove said.

The research facility has also worked on numerous projects in the past and currently, including Jupiter’s exploration through the Juno Mission, straying the sun’s atmosphere and sending satellites into orbit among many others.

About the Author: