Thursday, February 22, 2018

RS-25 throttles up

RS-25 test Feb. 21 at SSC. NASA/SSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA on Feb. 21 powered up the RS-25 main engine for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) to its highest thrust levels yet. During the 260-second test, the RS-25 engine throttled up to 113 percent of its original design thrust level. This was the third full-duration test on the A-1 stand this year. NASA has been using the A-1 stand to test the RS-25 since January 2015. The first four flights of SLS will use engines that max out at 109 percent of rated thrust (these same engines operated at 104.5 percent rated thrust when flown on the Space Shuttle). New RS-25 engines will baseline their thrust at 111 percent. The RS-25 is an updated version of the Space Shuttle Main Engine that helped power the Space Shuttle into space. The latest RS-25 hot fire test also was the fourth involving an additively manufactured Pogo Accumulator Assembly, the largest 3-D printed RS-25 component tested to date. Newly manufactured RS-25 engines, to be used starting with the fifth SLS mission, will incorporate the additively manufactured Pogo Accumulator Assembly and other 3-D printed parts currently in development. There are 16 flight engines that will power the first four SLS flights in inventory at Aerojet Rocketdyne's Stennis facility. (Source: SpaceDaily, NASA/SSC, 02/22/18)