Tuesday, October 25, 2011
NASA will store some rocket engines, slow work on others and study still more as it tries to fit the Space Launch System into a $3 billion annual budget for development. Early flights of the SLS will use surplus space shuttle main engines and, as side-mounted strap-ons, the five-segment solid-fuel motors developed for the terminated Ares I crew launch vehicle's first stage. The J-2X upper-stage engine will be slowed as managers try to maintain enough development momentum to avoid a costly stop and restart in engine development as the big new rocket evolves. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/24/11) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., is where space shuttle main engines were tested and where the J-2X is being assembled and tested. Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, is where portions of the SLS will be built.