A summer of records for NASA engine testing

July 25, 2012
Credit: NASA/SSC

(Phys.org) -- As Olympic athletes converge on London with dreams of winning gold in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, NASA is also setting records while testing the J-2X powerpack at the Stennis Space Center. The first time was June 8, when engineers went the distance and set the Test Complex A record with a 1,150-second firing of the developmental powerpack assembly. On July 24, engineers surpassed that record with a 1,350-second test of the engine component on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis. The powerpack is a system of components on the top portion of the J-2X engine. On the complete J-2X engine, the powerpack feeds the thrust chamber, which produces the engine fire and thrust. The advantage of testing the powerpack without the thrust chamber is to operate over a wide range of conditions to understand safe limits.

The July 24 test specifically gathered data on performance of the and fuel pumps during extreme conditions. The test data provides critical information for continued development of the turbopump for use on the J-2X engine, the first human-rated liquid oxygen and to be developed in four decades. The J-2X is being built by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The J-2X engine will power the upper-stage of a planned two-stage Space Launch System, or SLS. The SLS will launch NASA's Orion spacecraft and other payloads, and provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Designed to be safe, affordable and flexible for crew and cargo missions, the SLS will continue America's journey of discovery and exploration to destinations including nearby asteroids, Lagrange points, the moon and ultimately, Mars.

Explore further: NASA's new upper stage engine passes major test

Related Stories

NASA's new upper stage engine passes major test

November 9, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA conducted a successful 500-second test firing of the J-2X rocket engine on Wednesday, Nov. 9, marking another important step in development of an upper stage for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS). ...

NASA ready to test upgraded J-2X powerpack

December 7, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- For engineers working on the J-2X engine program, installation of the upgraded J-2X powerpack on the A-1 Test Stand on Dec. 5 had to feel like a long-awaited holiday gift.

NASA's J-2X engine kicks off 2012 with powerpack testing

January 26, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new series of tests on the engine that will help carry humans to deep space will begin next week at NASA's Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi. The tests on the J-2X engine bring NASA one step ...

NASA performs first J-2X powerpack test of the year

February 16, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center conducted an initial test of the J-2X engine powerpack Feb. 15, kicking off a series of key tests in development of the rocket engine that will carry humans deeper ...

J-2X nozzle extension goes the distance

July 16, 2012

(Phys.org) -- NASA engineers conducted a 550-second test of the new J-2X rocket engine at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on July 13. The J-2X engine will power the upper-stage of a planned two-stage Space Launch System, ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons data hint at underground ocean

July 30, 2015

Pluto wears its heart on its sleeve, and that has scientists gleaning intriguing new facts about its geology and climate. Recent data from NASA's New Horizons probe—which passed within 7,800 miles of the surface on July ...

Unusual red arcs spotted on icy Saturn moon Tethys

July 30, 2015

Like graffiti sprayed by an unknown artist, unexplained arc-shaped, reddish streaks are visible on the surface of Saturn's icy moon Tethys in new, enhanced-color images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

First detection of lithium from an exploding star

July 29, 2015

The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
not rated yet Jul 25, 2012
Designed to be safe, affordable and flexible for crew and cargo missions, the SLS will continue America's journey of discovery and exploration to destinations including nearby asteroids, Lagrange points, the moon and ultimately, Mars.


Well, that would really be something to see a manned Lunar or Lagrange point mission in my lifetime, although I'm not sure what you'd gain by sending a man to a Lagrange point at this moment in history, since there's nothing there. Nevertheless, they could be well suited for permanent space facilities in some future generation.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2012
although I'm not sure what you'd gain by sending a man to a Lagrange point at this moment in history

We could leave him there, so that future alien visitors can get a well preserved specimen?
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2012
SLS is anything but "affordable". 7 Falcon 9 would lift the same mass as the initial SLS for a 1/3 the cost. The final SLS cost so much that it will launched less than yearly.

That is why the same rocket under the name of Constellation was junked.

@ Lurjer2358: The Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point is considered by NASA as a waystation for NEOs and Mars. But as of yet, the space industry pork managers are more interested in their pork than doing something worthwhile.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Jul 25, 2012
Nasa needs to complete these tests before it is entirely defunded.

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.