J-2X turbomachinery complete

December 23, 2010 By Jennifer Stanfield
The turbomachinery assemblies for the first development J-2X engine off the production line. Credit: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne have successfully completed the heart of the J-2X upper stage rocket engine -- the turbomachinery assemblies -- for the first development engine off the production line.

The engine's turbomachinery consists of two turbopumps, each part pump and part turbine. Turbines provide the power to drive the pumps. One pump pushes high-pressure liquid oxygen, or oxidizer, and the other pumps liquid hydrogen fuel through the engine and to the engine's main injector. When the two meet, the fuels combine in a controlled high-pressure explosion producing the combustion needed to propel a launch vehicle to its journey to .

"The turbopumps are extremely complicated engine components whose design requires delicate balances between many of the fields of mechanical engineering, and whose fabrication and assembly involve extremely precise construction," said Gary Genge, J-2X turbomachinery manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "We're thrilled these parts are completed, and are ready to send to Stennis Space Center for assembly onto our first engine."

The J-2X engine is a highly efficient and versatile and has the ideal thrust and performance characteristics to power the upper stage of a heavy-lift launch vehicle. Investments made in developing the J-2X engine provide the nation with a new, robust rocket engine for future human spaceflight missions to low-Earth orbit, Mars or an asteroid.

’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages J-2X development. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, Calif., is the prime contractor.

Explore further: NASA to begin developing Ares rockets

Related Stories

NASA to begin developing Ares rockets

December 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.

NASA to Begin Testing Engine That Will Power Ares Rockets

December 19, 2007

In December, NASA will begin testing core components of a rocket engine from the Apollo era. Data from the tests will help NASA build the next generation engine that will power the nation's new Ares launch vehicles on voyages ...

NASA Engineers Complete Engine Test Series For Ares I Rocket

August 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 ...

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

November 1, 2010

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 ...

Recommended for you

A new, water-logged history of the Moon

May 31, 2016

After the Apollo missions scooped up rocks from the Moon's surface and brought them home, scientists were convinced for decades that they had proof our nearest celestial neighbour was drier than a bone.

Theft behind Planet 9 in our solar system

May 31, 2016

Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely that the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet. This would make it the first exoplanet to be discovered inside our own ...

Astronomy student discovers four new planets

May 31, 2016

Michelle Kunimoto's bachelor degree in physics and astronomy sent her on a journey out of this world—and led to the discovery of four new worlds beyond our solar system.

Finding aliens may be even easier than previously thought

May 26, 2016

Finding examples of intelligent life other than our own in the Universe is hard work. Between spending decades listening to space for signs of radio traffic – which is what the good people at the SETI Institute have been ...

0 comments

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.