BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — NASA is a step closer to returning astronauts to the Moon in the next five years following a successful engine test on Thursday at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The latest “hot fire” was the culmination of four-plus years of testing for the RS-25 engines that will send the first four Space Launch System (SLS) rockets into space.
Masten Space Systems of Mojave will pursue a project designed to better use additive manufacturing (AM) in the production of rocket engines with the help of NASA funding.
The space agency selected the company’s PermiAM project for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 program. The contract is worth as much as $125,000 over 13 months.
“Part of the work performed in this SBIR will help in determine the potential savings for future engine development programs, currently projected at 10x for injector build cost savings which require face cooling,” the project summary stated.
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.
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.
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.
NEW ORLEANS (NASA PR) — NASA is offering a behind-the-scenes look Thursday, Aug. 18, at its Journey to Mars, including the test of a rocket engine that will launch the agency to the Red Planet, with live coverage on social media, NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The day’s events begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the agency’s social media followers will have a conversation with NASA officials about the numerous efforts enabling exploration of the Red Planet. The public can ask questions during the live broadcast, which will air on NASA TV, using the hashtag #askNASA.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NASA PR) — NASA selected Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to restart production of the RS-25 engine for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, and deliver a certified engine. SLS will use four RS-25 engines to carry the agency’s Orion spacecraft and launch explorers on deep space missions, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and ultimately to Mars.
Video Caption: NASA’s countdown to deep space continued Aug. 13 with the latest test of its Space Launch System (SLS) RS-25 rocket engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Operators on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis conducted a 535-second test to collect engine performance data that will be used in readying the engines for SLS missions to carry humans deeper into space than ever before.
A variety of groups were invited by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and Stennis Space Center to view the Aug. 13 test. These included NASA officials; local, state and national elected officials; representatives of major contractors involved in SLS work; social media enthusiasts; local, regional and national media; community leaders from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi; NASA Space Flight Awareness honorees; and Stennis employees. Guests were hosted on tours of Stennis facilities, including the Aerojet Rocketdyne engine assembly facility, and also had an opportunity to visit the Pegasus barge that will transport the SLS core stage from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to Stennis and Kennedy Space Center in Florida for testing and launch.
An initial 70-metric-ton (77-ton) SLS configuration, referred to as Block 1, will use four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines for the core stage, along with two solid rocket boosters, providing more lift to orbit than any current launch vehicle. The SLS will later be configured to provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions farther into our solar system.
The core stage for the first SLS flight– Exploration Mission-1 – also will be tested at Stennis, which will involve simultaneous firing of the four RS-25 engines just as during an actual launch. NASA is currently testing the RS-25 to adapt it to the new SLS performance requirements and operating environments such as more thrust, higher propellant inlet pressures and lower temperatures, and qualify an all-new engine controller.
Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, is the prime contractor for the RS-25 engine work. The RS-25 engine gives SLS a proven, high performance, affordable main propulsion system for deep space exploration. It is one of the most experienced large rocket engines in the world, with more than a million seconds of ground test and flight operations time. A final test of the current RS-25 developmental engine is planned before the current test series concludes by early September. Testing of RS-25 flight engines will begin later this fall.
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.
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.
Bay St. Louis, Miss. (NASA PR) — NASA plans to begin testing RS-25 engines for its new Space Launch System (SLS) in the fall of 2014, and the agency’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi has a very big — literally — item to complete on the preparation checklist.
Fabrication recently began at Stennis on a new 7,755-pound thrust frame adapter for the A-1 Test Stand to enable testing of the engines that will provide core-stage power for NASA’s SLS. The stand component is scheduled to be completed and installed by November 2013.