Friday, July 15, 2011

NASA begins testing J-2X

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA conducted a combined chill test and 1.9-second ignition test Thursday of the next-generation J-2X rocket engine that could help carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit to deep space. The test is the first in a series that will be conducted on the J-2X, which is being developed by Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne. The ignition test on the A-2 Test Stand is the first of a series of firings over the next several months. Collected data will verify the engine functions as designed. The J-2X uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as fuel, which can be mixed to generate 294,000 pounds of thrust to lift a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit or 242,000 pounds of thrust to power a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit into deep space. The engine is designed to start and restart in space. (Source: NASA, 07/14/11)