Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Upper stage engine ready for SSC testing

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA's new J-2X rocket engine, which could power the upper stage of a future heavy-lift launch vehicle, is ready for its first round of testing. The fully assembled engine was installed Saturday in Stennis' A-2 Test Stand, originally used to test Saturn V rockets for the Apollo Program. Beginning in mid-June, the engine will undergo a series of 10 test firings that will last several months. The test stand, which supported the space shuttle main engine project, has been modified for the J-2X's different shape. In addition to the structural, electrical and plumbing modifications, a new engine start system was installed and control systems were upgraded on the stand. The liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen transfer lines that dated back to the 1960s were replaced. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne designed and built the J-2X for NASA. (Source: NASA, 06/13/11)