Image: Witch's brew aids J-2X engine hardware assembly

Nov 01, 2010
Image credit: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

Manufacturing of NASA's J-2X rocket engine includes a Halloween plunge into an icy cauldron of liquid nitrogen. Key components of the J-2X fuel turbopump were assembled at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s facility in Canoga Park, Calif.

The J-2X fule turbopump is the rotating machinery that drives the liquid propellants into the engine. The cold pump volute -- the structural housing that contains the high-pressure liquid hydrogen -- was mated with the pump’s turbine bearing support, which was heated in an oven to approx. 300 degrees. When the fuel pump is operating on the J-2X engine, the side is extremely cold due to the liquid hydrogen, and the turbine side is extremely hot because of the hot gas generator gases that drive the turbine. The parts are heated to temperature extremes to ensure a precise and secure seal during manufacturing.

NASA's J-2X is an efficient and versatile , offering the ideal thrust and performance characteristics to power the upper stage of a heavy-lift launch vehicle. Hardware for the first engine is being assembled at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and at numerous subcontractor locations across the country, with testing anticipated at NASA's Stennis Space Center in early 2011.

Explore further: Two astronauts will expand envelope with one-year spaceflight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Engineers Complete Engine Test Series For Ares I Rocket

Aug 19, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., have completed a series of tests on a key component of the J-2X engine. The J-2X powers the upper stage of the Ares I rocket, which will ...

NASA to begin developing Ares rockets

Dec 17, 2007

The U.S. space agency said it will begin testing core rocket engine components from the Apollo era this month to help build the Ares rocket.

Recommended for you

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

1 hour ago

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

1 hour ago

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

2 hours ago

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.