NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne Test Main Engine Controller for Orion-SLS Crewed Flight

NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne have tested the fourth and last engine controller for the first crewed mission of the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket, called Exploration Mission-2.

Aerojet Rocketdyne said Thursday its RS-25 engine was test fired for 365 seconds to qualify the engine controller, which works to facilitate communications between the engine and SLS as well as manage thrust levels and monitor performance.

SLS’ first stage includes four RS-25s that are based on the Aerojet Rocketdyne-built Space Shuttle main engine.

The company is under contract with NASA to deliver six RS-25 engines for future SLS launches.

The latest demonstration also involved an additively-manufactured component dubbed Pogo Accumulator Assembly, which is designed to diminish vibrations that can cause rocket instability during flight.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s new RS-25 engines will feature multiple additively-manufactured parts, including the Pogo system, as part of efforts to reduce costs.

Exploration Mission-2 is scheduled to launch astronauts aboard the joint Orion-SLS system in the 2020s.

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