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

Related Stories

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

NASA telescope studies quirky comet 45P

November 22, 2017

When comet 45P zipped past Earth early in 2017, researchers observing from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai'i gave the long-time trekker a thorough astronomical checkup. The results help fill in crucial ...

Uncovering the origins of galaxies' halos

November 21, 2017

Using the Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea, researchers have identified 11 dwarf galaxies and two star-containing halos in the outer region of a large spiral galaxy 25 million light-years away from Earth. The findings, published ...

Cassini image mosaic: A farewell to Saturn

November 21, 2017

In a fitting farewell to the planet that had been its home for over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft took one last, lingering look at Saturn and its splendid rings during the final leg of its journey and snapped a series ...

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.