Saturday, July 14, 2012

J-2X goes the distance

J-2X has 550-second test. NASA/SSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA engineers conducted a 550-second test of the J-2X rocket engine at the A-2 Test Stand, the latest in a series of firings to gather data for engine development. This was the first flight-duration test of the engine's nozzle extension, a bell shaped device to increase engine performance. Operators collected data about the extension's performance in conditions that simulated heights up to 50,000 feet. Additionally, operators introduced different propellant pressures at startup. The Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne J-2X engine will power the upper-stage of a planned two-stage Space Launch System, which will launch NASA's Orion spacecraft and other payloads. (Source: NASA/SSC, 07/13/12)