Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A-1 marks a first in decade

The J-2X is installed on the A-1 stand.
NASA/SSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- For the first time in almost a decade, a full engine is in the A-1 test stand. The installation of J-2X engine E10002 is in preparation for a series of tests where the engine will be gimbaled, or pivoted, during test firings. When this upper stage engine is used in space, it will need to be able to move freely to steer NASA's Space Launch System, or SLS, a heavy-lift launch vehicle that will carry humans in deep space. It's the first time gimbal tests will be done since testing on the space shuttle main engines. A series of tests was completed on the E10002 engine in the A-2 test stand prior to its installation on the A-1 test stand. Once these tests are done, preparations will be made to begin testing the RS-25 engine on the A-1 stand in 2014. RS-25 engines from the shuttle inventory will power the core stage of SLS, while the J-2X engine will power the upper stage. (Source: NASA, 05/14/13)