Space

January 25, 2013

World’s most powerful engine blazes path for Space Launch System advanced propulsion

To help develop the nation¹s future heavy lift rocket, NASA resurrected the world’s most powerful rocket engine ever flown – the mighty F-1 that powered the Saturn V rocket – and test fired it’s gas generator today at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA engineers ran the gas generator at the Marshall Center¹s Test Stand 116. The test is part of a series that will push the gas generator to limits beyond prior Apollo-era tests. Modern instruments on the test stand measured performance and combustion properties to allow engineers a starting point for creating a new, more affordable, advanced propulsion system.

“Our young engineers are getting their hands dirty by working with one of NASA’s most famous engines,” said Tom Williams, director of the Propulsion Systems Department in Marshall Engineering Directorate. “These tests are only the beginning. As SLS research activities progress, these young NASA engineers will continue work with our industry partners to test and evaluate the benefits of using a powerful propulsion system fueled by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene, a propellant we haven’t tested with in some time.”

The gas generator tested at Marshall today is a key F-1 rocket component that burns liquid oxygen and kerosene and is the part of the engine responsible for supplying power to drive the giant turbopump. The gas generator is often one of the first pieces designed on a new engine because it is a key part for determining the engine¹s size, which is a factor in the engine’s power and ability to lift heavy payloads and send them to space.

NASA¹s Space Launch System will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The initial 77-ton SLS configuration will use two 5-segment solid rocket boosters similar to the boosters that helped power the space shuttle to orbit. The evolved 143-ton SLS vehicle will require an advanced booster with more thrust than any existing U.S. liquid- or solid-fueled boosters. Last year, NASA awarded three contracts aimed at improving the affordability, reliability and performance of the rocket¹s advanced booster, including one focused on the F-1 engine.

“It’s important that our workforce get hands on experience on systems like the F-1 gas generator as it helps make them smart buyers, and good stewards of what we procure from industry,” said Chris Crumbly, manager of the SLS Advanced Development Office at the Marshall Center. “As we look to

the future advanced boosters for SLS we are eager to see what our partners in industry can provide as far as a more powerful and affordable solution.”

 




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


 
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist&...
 
 
NASA photographs by Tom Tschida

NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 911 moves to final home

NASA photographs by Tom Tschida NASA 911, one of two retired Shuttle Carrier Aircraft that ferried NASA’s space shuttles across the country for three decades, is towed from NASA Armstrong’s Bldg. 703 on its final journey to...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover arrives at Martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity n...
 

 

NASA announces 2014 aeronautics scholarship recipients

NASA has selected 20 students from across the nation to receive the agency’s Aeronautics Scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year. This scholarship program, which is in its seventh year, is designed to assist undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in fields of study related to aeronautics. Recipients were selected from hundreds of applications to the program....
 
 
NASA photograph by Dan Casper

NASA’s Orion spacecraft nears completion, ready for fueling

NASA photograph by Dan Casper The Orion crew module, stacked atop its service module, moved out of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept 11. Orion was transporte...
 
 

NASA awards cross-track infrared sounder instrument for the JPSS-2

NASA has awarded a sole source contract modification to Exelis, Inc., Geospatial Systems, of Fort Wayne, Ind., for the Cross-track Infrared Sounder Instrument for flight on the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 mission. This is a cost-plus-award-fee modification in the amount of $221 million. This action extends the period of performance of the contract from November...
 




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>