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NASA Begins Testing Of Next-Generation J-2X Rocket Engine

July 15, 2011

NASA conducted a combined chill test and 1.9-second ignition test July 14 of the next-generation J-2X rocket engine that could help carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit to deep space.

The test at John C. Stennis Space Center is the first in a series of tests that will be conducted on the J-2X engine, which is being developed for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. The ignition test on the A-2 Test Stand is the first of a series of firings over the next several months. Collected data will verify the engine functions as designed.

The J-2X engine uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as fuel, which can be mixed to generate 294,000 pounds of thrust to lift a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit or 242,000 pounds of thrust to power a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit into deep space. The engine is designed to start and restart in space.

Image Caption: A 1.9-second ignition test July 14 of the next-generation J-2X rocket engine. (NASA/SSC)

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