Space

April 22, 2013

Aerojet’s dual AJ26 engines launch historic Antares test flight

Aerojet, a GenCorp company, announced April 21 that its dual AJ26 main engine system successfully powered the first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s he two Aerojet AJ26 engines, which form the Antares rocket’s first-stage main engine system, burned for 233 seconds and provided 816,000 pounds of vacuum thrust as it powered Antares from the launch pad to a velocity of 9,800 miles per hour and a target orbit of 250 km x 300 km.

The launch was a test flight of the Antares launch system conducted under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services development agreement with Orbital. COTS helps American industry develop privately-operated space transportation systems.

“Today’s test is the culmination of some of the most challenging and rewarding work we’ve had the privilege to support,” said Aerojet Vice President, Space & Launch Systems, Julie Van Kleeck.

The AJ26 is a commercial derivative of the NK-33 engine that was first developed for the Russian N-1 rocket by the Joint Stock Company Kuznetsov. The oxidizer-rich, staged-combustion, oxygen kerosene engine achieves very high performance in a lightweight, compact package.

“The two AJ26 engines that launched today’s flight were originally slated to power the N-1 rocket on a lunar mission in the early 1970s,” said Aerojet Executive Director, Pete Cova. “Today’s mission marks the first time these engines are reaching space, which is a significant milestone for both the U.S. and Russian companies involved.”

To modernize the NK-33 for commercial applications, Aerojet enhancements include a gimbal block for thrust vectoring capability, new wiring harnesses and electrical circuitry, electromechanical valve actuators and instrumentation.

 




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


 
 

 

NASA completes MESSENGER mission with expected impact on Mercury’s surface

A NASA planetary exploration mission came to a planned, but nonetheless dramatic, end April 30 when it slammed into Mercury’s surface at about 8,750 mph and created a new crater on the planet’s surface. Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., have confirmed NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force focuses on assured access to space

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Force...
 
 

NASA invests in hundreds of U.S. small businesses to enable future missions

NASA has selected research and technology proposals from 254 small businesses and 39 research institutions in the United States for grants to develop new technologies that will further NASA’s journey to Mars. The proposals are solicited, vetted and managed through NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Proposals that lead to...
 

 

NASA brings in small business for further development of hypervelocity vehicles

NASA has awarded the Entry Systems Technology Research and Development contract to Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc., a small business in Hampton, Va. As NASA continues on its journey to Mars, the ESTRAD contract will provide engineering support for the development of technologies that will be used to design and fabricate vehicles that travel at hypervelocities...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA successfully tests shape-changing wing for next gen aviation

NASA photograph NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. NASA researchers, working in concert with the ...
 
 

Russian resupply ship experiencing difficulties; ISS, crew are fine

The six crew members of the International Space Station are safe and continuing regular operations with sufficient supplies as Russian flight controllers plan for another attempt to communicate with a cargo resupply spacecraft bound for the station. The next attempt to link with the spacecraft comes at 8:50 p.m. EDT Tuesday. The ISS Progress 59...
 




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>