Aerojet Rocketdyne has tested an engine for NASA‘s second exploration mission at the space agency’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
The RS-25 engine, dubbed as E2063, was fired up for 500 seconds in a move to evaluate the system’s capacity to support the EM-2 exploration mission, Aerojet Rocketdyne said Thursday.
RS-25 engines will continuously fire for eight-and-a-half minutes to provide approximately two million pounds of thrust that will power the Space Launch System for the space agency’s Exploration Missions.
“Earlier this month we completed work on all four engines required for Exploration Mission-1 and we are now well on our way to getting the four engines needed for EM-2 ready to go,” said Dan Adamski, program director of the RS-25.
“This is an exciting time in human spaceflight as we move beyond low Earth orbit and into deep space,” said Eileen Drake, president and CEO of Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is also under contract to deliver four RL10 engines for the Exploration Upper Stage on top of the SLS along with propulsion elements for the Orion spacecraft in support of EM-2.
The company will also build and test an electric propulsion system that can support a future 50-kilowatt power and propulsion element.