P&W Rocketdyne Successfully Completes J-2X Powerpack Test

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed the first in a series of powerpack hot-fire tests on the J-2X engine, which is being developed for NASA to power humans further into space than ever before.  Powerpack tests are designed to evaluate the full range of operating conditions of the engine's components during flight.  NASA selected the J-2X as the upper-stage propulsion for the Space Launch System (SLS) – an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle.  Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

"The successful powerpack test provided important data that verified the engine's components and gave us a better understanding of how the turbopumps operate," said Walt Janowski, J-2X program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.  "Each new test brings us closer and closer to engine certification, and we are confident the J-2X will be ready to power humans to destinations in space never before visited, including asteroids and Mars.  We look forward to working with NASA on the future of human spaceflight."

The powerpack consists of components on the top portion of the engine, including the gas generator, the oxygen and fuel turbopumps, and the ducts, valves, and controls that bring the propellants together to drive the turbines of the two turbopumps.  Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will perform hot-fire tests on the powerpack through summer, using varying pressures, temperatures and flow rates to ensure the engine is ready to support exploration to low-Earth orbit, Mars and possibly beyond.

Source: Pratt & Whitney, A United Technologies Company (NYSE:UTX)
Date: Feb 16, 2012