Aerojet Rocketdyne has conducted a series of tests on its AR1 liquid oxygen/kerosene-based propulsion system and RS-25 liquid propellant engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
AR1 recorded the highest chamber pressure of any U.S. developed main combustion system during firing tests that evaluated the performance and design parameters of the engine’s injector, Aerojet Rocketdyne said Wednesday.
The company is developing AR1 to help end U.S. reliance on foreign-made engines for national security and civil space missions.
“Staged-combustion testing is a critical step in proving our design for AR1 and reestablishing U.S. preeminence in hydrocarbon space launch propulsion,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne president and CEO.
“We have been working diligently on the AR1 program since 2014 and remain on target to deliver a flight-qualified AR1 engine in 2019 as promised.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne also evaluated RS-25’s compliance with performance requirements for NASA’s space shuttle program, the company said in a separate announcement released Wednesday.
A NASA-built drone technology captured images of RS-25 from above the test stand to offer a bird’s eye view of the engine test.