Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New and improved J-2 (J2X) is ready for live-fire testing

The J-2X, designed and built for NASA by Prat & Whitney Rocketdyne, is the new generation design for the engine that powered Apollo-Saturn V's Third Stage through Trans-Lunar Injection from 1968-1972. The complete redesign is ready for live-fire testing. Above a Shuttle main engine undergoes testing at Stennis Space Center two years ago [NASA/Stennis].

Bay St. Louis. Mississippi- NASA's new J-2X rocket engine is ready for its initial round of testing after being installed Saturday in the A-2 Test Stand at the space agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The fully assembled engine will undergo a series of 10 test firings starting this month that will last several months.

"An upper stage engine is essential to making space exploration outside low-Earth orbit a reality," Mike Kynard, manager of the J-2X upper stage engine project at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said in a news release. "The J-2X goes beyond the limits of its historic predecessor and achieves higher thrust, performance, and reliability than the J2. We are thrilled to have the engine in the test stand to validate our assumptions about engine performance and reliability."

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