Saturday, January 29, 2011

Orbital: 3rd AJ26 test not needed

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Two tests of an Aerojet AJ26 engine were so successful that Orbital Science Corp. engineers decided a planned third test unnecessary. The AJ26 engine was removed from the E-1 test stand Jan. 24 and will be returned to Aerojet to be refurbished and used on an upcoming Taurus II mission. The same day the engine was removed, the first flight engine was installed to begin regularly planned "acceptance testing" at SSC. The AJ26 flight unit will be tested in February, and then delivered to Orbital at the Wallops Flight Facility launch site in Virginia for integration with the rocket's first stage core. Orbital's Taurus II rocket will first be used to carry out commercial cargo supply mission to the International Space Station. Orbital is developing the cargo logistics system under the joint Commercial Orbital Transportation Services research and development project with NASA, and is scheduled to carry out the first of eight cargo missions under the Commercial Resupply Services contract beginning in early 2012. (Source: NASA, 01/28/11)