February 16, 2012
NASA Performs J-2X Powerpack Test
[ Watch the Video ]
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 into space than ever before.
The powerpack is a system of components on the top portion of the J-2X engine, including the gas generator, oxygen and fuel turbopumps, and related ducts and valves. On the full J-2X engine, the powerpack system feeds the thrust chamber system which produces engine thrust.
The J-2X is being developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. It is the first human-rated liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen rocket engine to be developed in 40 years. The J-2X will provide upper-stage power for NASA's Space Launch System, a new heavy-lift vehicle capable of missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
The new powerpack test series is the second for the J-2X engine. Testing of an Apollo-era powerpack at Stennis in 2008 provided critical data for development of the new, more advanced turbomachinery.
Image Caption: J-2X powerpack test lights up the night. (NASA/SSC)
On the Net:
- For more information about NASA exploration, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration
- For information about Stennis, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis