J-2X turbomachinery complete

Dec 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 deep-space rocket, SLS, to launch in 2018

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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

Nov 01, 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 ...

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

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

14 hours ago

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

19 hours ago

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

A salty, martian meteorite offers clues to habitability

20 hours ago

Life as we know it requires energy of some sort to survive and thrive. For plants, that source of energy is the Sun. But there are some microbes that can survive using energy from chemical reactions. Some ...

User comments : 0