HANCOCK COUNTY — NASA conducted a successful 500-second test firing of the J-2X rocket engine Wednesday, marking another important step in development of an upper stage for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS).
SLS is designed to carry the Orion spacecraft, its crew, cargo, equipment and science experiments to destinations in deep space.
Data from the test will be analyzed as operators prepare for additional engine firings. The J-2X and the RS-25D/E engines for the SLS core stage will be tested for flight certification at Stennis. Both engines use liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. The core stage engines were developed originally for the space shuttle.
“The J-2X engine team and the SLS program as a whole are extremely happy that we accomplished a good, safe and successful test…,” said Mike Kynard, Space Launch System engines element manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “This engine test firing gives us critical data to move forward in the engine’s development.”
Stennis has tested engines that carried Americans to space in both the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. The J-2X engine is being developed for Marshall by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif.