Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SSC won't test AJ-26 replacement

Orbital Sciences does not plan to do acceptance tests of the RD-181 engines at Stennis Space Center, Miss. That's according to a story in Aviation Week about the engines Orbital Sciences chose to replace the Russian-built NK-33 engines. Those engines, modified by Aerojet as the AJ-26, had been tested at SSC before being used to power Orbital's Antares rocket on resupply missions to the International Space Station. The switch to Russian-built RD-181s followed the October 2014 failure of an Antares launch vehicle seconds after lifting off from Wallops Island, Va. The first shipment of the engines to Orbital ATK will be this summer. (Source: Aviation Week, 02/24/15)