Thursday, 26 January 2012

NASA's J-2X Engine Reaches Testing Stage

J-2X E10001 Assembly Complete.
 (Image Credit: NASA/MSFC)

The next generation of space exploration has begun with the testing of the new engine planned to carry humans to deep space.  Tests start at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi, bringing NASA one step closer to the first human-rated liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen rocket engine to be developed in 40 years.

William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate said "The testing will help ensure that a key propulsion element is ready to support exploration across the solar system."

J-2X is an efficient and versatile advanced rocket engine designed with the thrust and performance to power the upper stage of NASA's Space Launch System, a new heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of missions beyond low-Earth orbit.

Fuelled by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the J-2X builds on experience with previous designs, relying  on nearly a half-century of NASA spaceflight experience and technological and manufacturing advances to deliver up to 294,000 pounds of thrust, powering exploration to new destinations in our solar system.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier Receives AIAA Von Karman Award

Bill Gerstenmaier

The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has honored Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate with the Von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics.

The award is given annually to someone who has performed notably and distinguished themselves technically in the field of astronautics. Gerstenmaier was recognized for his 30 years of accomplishment in human spaceflight, culminating in the leadership of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs.

As part of the award, Gerstenmaier delivered the speech "Global Outpost in Space: A Platform for Discovery -- The International Space Station" Wednesday during the AIAA's 50th Aerospace Sciences Meeting in Nashville, Tenn. The award honors Theodore von Karman, an early astronautics pioneer responsible for breakthroughs in understanding supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization and the value of the swept wing design.

Gerstenmaier said "It is truly an honor to receive this special recognition from the AIAA and to have the opportunity to speak at this year's conference about the International Space Station and its importance to the future of human exploration."