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 July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>