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ROCKET SCIENCE
NASA Continues J-2X Powerpack Testing
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 14, 2012


illustration only

NASA conducted a long duration test of the J-2X powerpack, 340 seconds total, at the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi on May 10, marking another step in development of the next-generation rocket engine that will carry humans deeper into space than ever before.

The powerpack is a system of components on the top portion of the J-2X engine, including the gas generator, oxygen and fuel turbopumps, and related ducts and valves. On the full J-2X engine, the powerpack system feeds the thrust chamber system, which produces engine thrust.

The long-duration test was planned to operate the powerpack turbopumps over a range of speeds by varying the gas generator valve positions. The turbopumps have been heavily instrumented in order to determine performance and structural capabilities of this new design.

Test data provides critical information for continued development of the engine, which is the first human-rated liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen rocket engine to be developed in four decades. The J-2X is being developed by Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

This May 10 test is part of a series of firings on the J-2X powerpack. The J-2X turbopumps were designed using test data from a 2008 test series at Stennis to gather data on Apollo-era J-2S turbopumps.

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