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: Research pair offer three possible models of Pluto ahead of New Horizons visit

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

Vegetables on Mars within ten years?

17 hours ago

The soil on Mars may be suitable for cultivating food crops – this is the prognosis of a study by plant ecologist Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR. This would prove highly practical if we ever decide to ...

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of a Saturn moon

17 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known ...

Meteorite studies suggest hidden water on Mars

18 hours ago

Geochemical calculations by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology to determine how the water content of Mars has changed over the past 4.5 billion years suggest as yet unidentified reservoirs of water ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of a Saturn moon

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known ...

Vegetables on Mars within ten years?

The soil on Mars may be suitable for cultivating food crops – this is the prognosis of a study by plant ecologist Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR. This would prove highly practical if we ever decide to ...

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...