Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fire damaged engine

An Aerojet AJ26 engine that will power the Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus II launch vehicle was badly damaged in a fuel fire June 9 at Stennis Space Center, Miss. NASA is counting on the Taurus II/Cygnus and the Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9/Dragon combinations to help resupply the International Space Station when the space shuttle fleet retires after the upcoming final flight of shuttle Atlantis. The AJ26 engine shut down prematurely after a fuel leak developed during a hot-fire acceptance test, and the leaking kerosene fuel ignited. The test stand at Stennis Space Center suffered only minor damage. A team of experts from Aerojet, Orbital and NASA is investigating the cause of the mishap and the extent of the damage to the engine. (Source: Aviation Week, 06/23/11) Previous story