Taurus 2 Rocket Engine Completes Second NASA Test Fire
[Satellite TODAY 12-21-10] NASA has test-fired the Aerojet liquid fuel AJ26 engine, which was built to power the first stage of Orbital Sciences‘ Taurus 2 rocket, the agency announced Dec.20.
The test was conducted Dec. 17 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The 55-second firing was the second in a series of verification tests being conducted at the Stennis facility, which supports NASA’s Commercial Transportation Services (COTS) program partnerships with Orbital Sciences and SpaceX.
Orbital said the engine accomplished all primary testing objectives, including engine startup, propellant valve commanding, thrust vector control functioning and shutdown sequencing.
The engine will now undergo a third hot-fire test to verify its engine control valve tuning early next year. Three more AJ26 engines are scheduled for testing over the next five months. Orbital’s Taurus 2 launcher will begin the initial launch phase in 2011 under its contract with NASA to provide eight cargo missions to the space station through 2015.