BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — NASA kicks off a new round of testing on the J-2X rocket engine this month at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
NASA said in a news release Tuesday that engineers will conduct a series of tests on the second J-2X development engine, designated number 10002, on the A-2 Test Stand at Stennis.
Once the series is completed, the engine will undergo a series of gimbal, or pivot, tests for the first time.
“This test series will help us increase our knowledge of the J-2X and its performance capabilities,” said Gary Benton, manager of the J-2X test project at Stennis.
The J-2X will provide upper-stage power for NASA’s Space Launch System, a new heavy-lift vehicle capable of missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
The engine is being designed and built by NASA and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., to power the upper stage of the 143-ton version of the SLS rocket.
Data from what is known as hot-fire engine tests will be compared to the performance of the first engine. Engineers also will vary liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen inlet pressures and subject the engine nozzle to higher temperatures than in previous tests to see what effect they have on performance.
NASA already has conducted successful tests on engine number 10001 and on the J-2X powerpack assembly. In total, 34 tests were conducted on the J-2X engine and powerpack, with the J-2X achieving a full flight-duration firing of 500 seconds in the eighth test.
Online: J-2X engine and NASA’s Space Launch System.