Rocket test aborted at Stennis; no injuries

nasa-logo1HANCOCK COUNTY — Officials with Aerojet Rocketdyne are investigating the mid-test shutdown of an AJ-26 engine at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.

Company spokeswoman Jessica Pieczonka says in a statement that no one was hurt in the premature shutdown of the testing.

The AJ26 engine powers the Antares rocket that has been used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Officials say the test started at 2 p.m. Thursday. About 30 seconds into the planned 54-second test, the rocket engine used in the Antares launch vehicle first stage “terminated prematurely, resulting in extensive damage to the engine.”

Officials say the cause of the failure is not known. Pieczonka says the company is leading an investigation to determine the cause.

NASA officials say they are also checking into the incident.

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