RS-25 Engine Modernization Upgrades Continue Check Outs

  • Firing was second in planned series of nine on ground-test engine
  • Verification continues on new main combustion chamber and additive manufactured “Pogo” Accumulator Assembly
  • Acceptance test of RS-25 engine controllers continue

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Sept. 10, 2018 – Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA tested the flight readiness of another critical Space Launch System (SLS) engine controller during a test firing Sept. 6 of an RS-25 engine, which will power the core stage of the agency’s new heavy-lift rocket.

The 500-second test firing, conducted at NASA Stennis, continues acceptance testing of RS-25 flight engine controllers for NASA’s SLS exploration rocket. Each controller is the brain of an engine, enabling it to communicate with the rocket while managing thrust levels and performing engine diagnostics.

Thursday’s test was the second in a series of nine planned for RS-25 Engine No. 0525 – a ground-based testbed – that will verify the performance of updated RS-25 components.

The modernized hardware includes the new controllers, which will be retrofitted on 16 engines remaining from the shuttle program that are being repurposed for the SLS. Other hardware being tested in this series includes a vibration dampener and main combustion chamber fabricated using modern manufacturing techniques, which will be used on new production RS-25 engines.

“RS-25 Engine No. 0525 is a workhorse and not intended to fly in space, but it plays an indispensable role in the SLS program,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “Its current test run is acceptance testing of computers that will fly on upcoming SLS missions, and validating modern manufacturing techniques that will bring down the cost of future versions of the RS-25.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne is restarting RS-25 production under a contact with NASA that includes an initial delivery of six brand new engines. These engines, to be used on the fifth SLS launch and beyond, will incorporate the other components being validated in the current test series, including a main combustion chamber built using a technique known as Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP), and an additively manufactured Pogo Accumulator Assembly, which dampens potential vehicle vibrations (“pogo” affect) during flight.

About Aerojet Rocketdyne: Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.