Space

June 11, 2012

NASA surpasses test facility record with J-2X powerpack test

During a record-breaking June 8 test, engineers throttled the J-2X powerpack up and down several times to explore numerous operating points required for the fuel and oxidizer turbopumps. The results of this test will be useful for determining performance and hardware life for the J-2X engine turbopumps. The J-2X engine will power the upper stage of the evolved NASA¹s Space Launch System, an advanced heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth¹s orbit. The test was conducted at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is developing the J-2X engine for NASA¹s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., broke its own record June 8 when it conducted a test on the new J-2X powerpack.

The test lasted for 1,150 seconds, surpassing the previous record by more than a full minute.

For NASA, the test marked a milestone step in development of a next-generation rocket engine to carry humans deeper into space than ever before. For Stennis, the 19-minute, 10-second test represented the longest duration firing ever conducted in the center’s A Test Complex.

“This is the longest and the most complex J-2X test profile to date,” said Mike Kynard, NASA’s Space Launch System liquid engines element manager. “By combining as many test objectives as we can, we aim to get the most out of every opportunity and work as affordability and efficiently as possible while maintaining a reasonable level of risk.”

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. As designed, the powerpack system feeds the thrust chamber system, which produces engine thrust. By removing the thrust chamber assembly, including the main combustion chamber, main injector and nozzle, engineers can push more easily the turbomachinery components over a wide range of conditions to demonstrate durability and safety margins.

“Setting a new record for the longest duration test on one of our stands in the A complex is a testament to the longevity and versatility of our testing facilities,” said Randy Galloway, engineering and test director at Stennis. “These stands, originally built in the 1960s to test the stages for the Apollo Program, then used for the Space Shuttle Program, now are being used to test for the next generation vehicle that will take us farther than we have ever gone.”

This record-breaking test explored numerous operating points required for the fuel and oxidizer turbopumps. The results of this test will be useful for determining performance and hardware life for the J-2X engine turbopumps. The test also allowed operators to calibrate flow meters on the stand, which measure the amount of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen delivered to the powerpack.

Before the powerpack test, the longest firing in Stennis’ A Test Complex occurred in August 1989, with a 1,075-second test of a space shuttle main engine. The B Test Complex still claims the record for test duration at more than 2,000 seconds.

The J-2X engine is the first human-rated liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen rocket engine to be developed in four decades. It will power the upper stage of NASA’s evolved Space Launch System, an advanced heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is developing the J-2X engine for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The June 8 test is part of a second series of firings on the powerpack. NASA engineers performed an initial test of an Apollo-era powerpack at Stennis in 2008.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 2, 2014

News: Debris yields clues that pilot never ejected - When investigators were finally able to safely enter the crash site of an F-15C “Eagle” fighter jet on the afternoon of Aug. 27, they made a grim discovery that concluded more than 30 hours of searching – the pilot never managed to eject from the aircraft.  ...
 
 

News Briefs September 2, 2014

Pentagon: Iraq operations cost $560 million so far U.S. military operations in Iraq, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, have cost about $560 million since mid-June, the Pentagon said Aug. 29. Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the average daily cost has been $7.5 million. He said it began at a much lower...
 
 

Unmanned aircraft partnership reaches major milestone

A team of research students and staff from Warsaw University of Technology have successfully demonstrated the first phase of flight test and integration of unmanned aircraft platforms with an autonomous mission control system. The demonstration marks a significant milestone in a partnership between the university and Lockheed Martin that began earlier this year. This is...
 

 

Raytheon delivers first Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles to US Navy

Raytheon delivered the first Block 2 variant of its Rolling Airframe Missile system to the U.S. Navy as part of the company’s 2012 Low Rate Initial Production contract. RAM Block 2 is a significant performance upgrade featuring enhanced kinematics, an evolved radio frequency receiver, and an improved control system. “As today’s threats continue to evolve,...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Two Vietnam War Soldiers, one from Civil War to receive Medal of Honor

U.S. Army graphic Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins and former Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat will receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam. The White House announced Aug. 26 that Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. A...
 
 

Sparks fly as NASA pushes limits of 3-D printing technology

NASA has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, on a test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA engineers pushed the limits of technology by designing a rocket engine injector – a highly complex part that...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>