NASA Tests RS-25 Flight Engine for Space Launch System

Video Caption: Engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Oct. 19 completed a hot-fire test of RS-25 rocket engine E2063, a flight engine for NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Engine E2063 is scheduled to help power SLS on its Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2), the first flight of the new rocket to carry humans.

SpaceX Receives Additional $40.8 Million from Air Force to Develop Raptor Engine

Raptor engine hot fire. (Credit SpaceX)

The U.S. Air Force has awarded an additional $40.8 million to SpaceX for the development of its Raptor rocket engine.

The funding, awarded under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, involves the extension of a $33.7 million contract originally awarded in January. SpaceX agreed to spend $67.3 million under the jointly funded program under the original contract.

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RS-25 Engines Ready for SLS Maiden Flight

Aerojet Rocketdyne displays the four RS-25 engines slated to fly on EM-1, the maiden flight of NASA’s SLS rocket, at its facility located at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss.  (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), announces the four RS-25 engines slated to fly on Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the maiden flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), are ready for integration with the rocket’s core stage.

EM-1 is a three-week mission in which the SLS rocket will launch the Orion spacecraft into a distant retrograde orbit around the moon farther than a human-rated vehicle has traveled before, and also will deliver 13 small satellites to deep space.

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Relativity Seeks to Disrupt Smallsat Launch Industry

A startup named Relativity has conducted more than six dozen test firings of a new liquid oxygen/liquid methane rocket engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, CEO Tim Ellis told a Senate subcommittee last week.

“Relativity is a stealth-mode startup re-imagining the way orbital rockets are built and flown,” said Ellis, who co-founded the company. “We are creating a new launch service for orbital payloads enabled by never-seen-before technologies, allowing for a high degree of launch schedule certainty at significantly reduced cost.”

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Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 Engine Sets U.S. Record

Staged-combustion testing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for the AR1 program is being developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), recently demonstrated the highest chamber pressure of any United States produced liquid oxygen and kerosene main combustion system. This milestone occurred during a series of successful test firings of the AR1’s staged combustion system at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.

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Video: NASA Tests RS-25 Engine for Use on SLS

Video Caption: The 7.5-minute test conducted at NASA’s Stennis Space Center is part of a series of tests designed to put the upgraded former space shuttle engines through the rigorous temperature and pressure conditions they will experience during a launch. The tests also support the development of a new controller, or “brain,” for the engine, which monitors engine status and communicates between the rocket and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the rocket.

AR1 Engine Undergoes Testing at NASA Stennis

Aerojet Rocketdyne tests the AR1 subscale preburner at NASA's Stennis Space Center. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)
Aerojet Rocketdyne tests the AR1 subscale preburner at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 17, 2016 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), achieved full-power during a critical preburner test series at NASA’s Stennis Space Center earlier this month. The test series successfully verified key preburner injector design parameters for the company’s AR1 engine that is being designed to end use of Russian engines for national security space launches.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA Stennis Sign Agreement for AR1 Engine Testing

Aerojet Rocketdyne recently conducted hot-fire testing of a multi-element preburner injector for the AR1 rocket engine. A similar multi-element injector built using additive manufacturing will be hot-fire tested this spring. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)
Aerojet Rocketdyne recently conducted hot-fire testing of a multi-element preburner injector for the AR1 rocket engine. A similar multi-element injector built using additive manufacturing will be hot-fire tested this spring. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 16, 2015 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA Stennis Space Center signed a Space Act Agreement for test services and test stand support of the AR1 multi-element pre-burner and main injector. Currently in development by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the AR1 engine is a replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 engines that power the Atlas V launch vehicle. This agreement builds on the current assembly and testing of the company’s RS-68 and RS-25 engines at NASA Stennis.

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Successful RS-25 Firing at NASA Stennis

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NASA PR) — The new year is off to a hot start for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). The engine that will drive America’s next great rocket to deep space blazed through its first successful test Jan. 9 at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

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Orbital Pushes Back ISS Cargo Flight By 1 Week

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo craft moves away from the International Space Station's robotic arm shortly after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)
Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo craft moves away from the International Space Station’s robotic arm shortly after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

Mission Update – May 28, 2014
Via Orbital Sciences Corporation

Orbital has rescheduled the launch of its Antares rocket for the Orb-2 mission to a date of no earlier than (NET) June 17, 2014. Orb-2 is the second of eight cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station under Orbital’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.

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Report: Antares AJ-26 Engine Fails During Static Fire at Stennis

AJ26 test firing. (Credit: Aerojet)
AJ26 test firing. (Credit: Aerojet)

NASASpaceflight.com reports on a failure of an AJ-26 engine during a static fire on Thursday:

One of the AJ-26 engines set to launch with a future Antares rocket has failed during testing at the Stennis Space Center on Thursday. Sources claim the engine “exploded” on a Stand located in the E Complex at the famous rocket facility. The failure is currently under evaluation, although it may delay the next Antares launch that is tasked with lofting the the ORB-2 Cygnus to the International Space Station (ISS).

Not a lot of details at this point.  I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

Raptor Test Stand Ribbon Cutting Takes Place at NASA Stennis

NASA and SpaceX cut the ribbon at the E-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center on April 21 to mark the beginning of a new testing partnership. SpaceX will test components of its methane-fueled Raptor rocket engine on the stand. Participants in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were (l to r): Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and NASA’s Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech. (Credit: NASA)
NASA and SpaceX cut the ribbon at the E-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center on April 21 to mark the beginning of a new testing partnership. SpaceX will test components of its methane-fueled Raptor rocket engine on the stand. Participants in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were (l to r): Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and NASA’s Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech. (Credit: NASA)

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — An April 21 ribbon-cutting ceremony at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., marked the beginning of a new NASA and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) partnership aimed at continuing to propel America’s burgeoning commercial space program forward and enhance utilization of NASA’s advanced test facilities. Several Mississippi leaders joined NASA and SpaceX representatives for the ceremony including Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo.

SpaceX signed a Space Act Agreement with the space agency last fall to test components of its methane-fueled Raptor rocket engine on the E-2 Test Stand at Stennis. SpaceX is developing the Raptor as a reusable engine for a heavy-lift launch vehicle.

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More RS-25 Engine Tests Conducted at Stennis

Four RS-25 engines, like the one pictured undergoing a hot-fire test, will power the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) -- NASA's new heavy-lift launch vehicle. (Credit: NASA)
Four RS-25 engines, like the one pictured undergoing a hot-fire test, will power the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) — NASA’s new heavy-lift launch vehicle. (Credit: NASA)

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NASA PR) — The RS-25 engine that will power NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), off the launch pad and on journeys to an asteroid and Mars is getting ready for the test stand. And it is packing a big punch.

Engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., are now focusing their attention on preparing the RS-25 engine after completing testing of the J-2X engine April 10. Four RS-25 engines, previously known as space shuttle main engines, will muscle the core stage of SLS for each of its missions. Towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, the core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25s.

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SpaceX to Conduct Raptor Engine Testing in Mississippi

An AJ26 engine on a test stand at NASA Stennis.
An AJ26 engine on a test stand at NASA Stennis.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sen. Cochran PR) – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today said the agreement signed today between the State of Mississippi and the commercial space company SpaceX bodes well for future job growth at and around NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.

Cochran commended the accord which will involve SpaceX investing in the E-2 test stand at Stennis to support engine research, development and testing of the firm’s Raptor methane rocket engines.  The agreement, signed by Governor Phil Bryant, also involved the Mississippi Development Authority, Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission and NASA.

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Preparations Continue for SLS Engine Test at Stennis

A welder at NASA’s Stennis Space Center works on a portion of piping to be installed on the A-1 Test Stand for RS-25 rocket engine testing. (Credit: NASA/SSC)
A welder at NASA’s Stennis Space Center works on a portion of piping to be installed on the A-1 Test Stand for RS-25 rocket engine testing. (Credit: NASA/SSC)

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — Think about negotiating an intricate maze, and you begin to appreciate the challenge of designing and fabricating test stand piping for NASA’s RS-25 rocket engine.

NASA is meeting that challenge at its Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., where liquid oxygen (LOX), liquid hydrogen and related piping is being produced for RS-25 engine testing on the A-1 test stand. Testing of the core-stage engine for NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) is scheduled to begin next spring. The SLS is being developed to carry humans deeper into space than ever before.

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