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.


 
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/DSS/Magellan

NASA’s Chandra Observatory finds cosmic showers halt galaxy growth

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/DSS/Magellan A study of over 200 galaxy clusters, including Abell 2597 shown here, with NASAís Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed how an unusual form of cosmic precipitation stifles star formatio...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA spacecraft nears historic dwarf planet arrival

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA NASA’s Dawn spacecraft took these images of dwarf planet Ceres from about 25,000 miles away Feb. 25, 2015. Ceres appears half in shadow because of the current position o...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 

 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 
 

NASA releases first global rainfall, snowfall map from new mission

Like a lead violin tuning an orchestra, the GPM Core Observatory – launched one year ago on Feb. 27, 2014, as a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – acts as the standard to unify precipitation measurements from a network of 12 satellites. The result is NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM...
 
 

New NASA Earth Science Missions expand view of our home planet

Four new NASA Earth-observing missions are collecting data from space with a fifth newly in orbit ñ after the busiest year of NASA Earth science launches in more than a decade. On Feb. 27, 2014, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory into space from Japan. Data from...
 




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>