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Lucky 113: NASA tests RS-25 engine at highest-ever power level

23 Feb 2018, 11:00 UTC
Lucky 113: NASA tests RS-25 engine at highest-ever power level
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An RS-25 engine undergoes a test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. Photo credit: NASA
Engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center conducted a test of the Space Launch System’s (SLS) RS-25 engine, pushing the design to the highest level ever recorded for the powerhouse previously used to send Space Shuttles into orbit. The Aerojet Rocketdyne-manufactured engine reached a peak output of 113 percent of rated power during the Feb. 21, 2018, firing at the coastal Mississippi site.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Owen Brayson highlight’s the 3-D-printed pogo accumulator assembly on the RS-25. Photo credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne
Testing the limits

The firing took place at the A-1 test stand where Engine 0528, a development article being used by NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne to evaluate new hardware and software, was pushed to 113 percent of rated power for 50 seconds of the 260-second test to explore the limits of the design.
“Increased thrust requirements for the RS-25 are just one of the many changes in the SLS rocket’s performance that will facilitate our nation’s deep space exploration goals and objectives,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RS-25 program director, Dan Adamski, in a press release issued by the company. “While we can analytically calculate engine performance and structural ...

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