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The company Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully wrapped up a marathon test of the space shuttle-era AR-22 engine, firing it 10 times in 10 days to test its suitability for a quick-turnaround reusable space plane.
The engine test, undertaken at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, is the latest step in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane program. The crew worked 24/7 to fuel and fire the massive engine 10 times, for 100 seconds each, over 10 days — ending with 68 minutes to spare, and even enduring two lightning strikes to the building housing the test.
Records - Hydrogen-liquid - Engine - Scott - Wierzbanowski
"We completely destroyed previously held records [for] a liquid hydrogen-liquid, oxygen-type engine," Scott Wierzbanowski, DARPA's Experimental Spaceplane program manager, said during a teleconference with reporters today (July 10). "And we shattered this idea that these types of engines can't be used in a very operable and aircraft-like way." [DARPA's Experimental XS-1 Space Plane in Pictures]
Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed a rigorous, fast-turnaround test of its AR-22 engine, previously used on the space shuttle — firing it 10 times in a row in just 10 days. The test was completed July 6, 2018. The engine will lift DARPA's future space plane, the Phantom Express built by Boeing.
DARPA - Boeing - Space - Plane - Phantom
DARPA selected Boeing to build a reusable space plane, called Phantom Express, propelled upward with Aerojet Rocketdyne's engine — a version of which was the space shuttle's main engine. Before this, that engine had only been re-fired within 24 hours once before.
This test helps validate the idea of a reusable spacecraft with a quick turnaround that’s closer to that of an aircraft, officials said during today's discussion. Phantom Express is designed to launch vertically, releasing a disposable second stage at between 200,000 and 300,000 feet (60,000 to 90,000 meters) to deploy a satellite into orbit, Wierzbanowski said,...
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