Ok may be way off here but it looks similar to some NASA development rocket , satellite launch, engines, which the Chinese have recently been using
(see phot above)
A cryogenic rocket engine is a rocket engine that uses a cryogenic fuel
The YF-77 is currently China's most powerful cryogenic rocket engine using liquid hydrogen (LH2) fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) oxidizer. Engine development began in the 2000s, with testing directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) commencing in 2005. The engine has been successfully tested by mid-2007.
American cryogenic engines
In staged combustion and gas generator, a small amount of fuel and propellant are burnt and used to the hot gases are used to turn a turbine, which in turn drives the pumps that pump oxidizer and fuel into the combustion chamber.
The difference between staged combustion and gas generator is that in the gas generator, after driving the turbine, the gases are vented out into the atmosphere. In a staged combustion the gases that leave the turbine (usually a fuel rich mixture, though the Russians use a more difficult oxygen rich mixture) and sent into the combustion chamber where they are burnt . That way the staged combustion generates a couple of percentage points more thrust and is more efficeint (coz the gases are used to propel and not wastefully vented out).
Edited by SaraC_UK (11/04/11 03:25 PM)