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  NASA Stennis building J-2X engine A-3 test stand

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Author Topic:   NASA Stennis building J-2X engine A-3 test stand
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28542
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-08-2007 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA to Build New Stand at Stennis to Test Ares Rocket Engines

NASA will test one of the rocket engines it is developing for its new launch vehicles at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The agency will build a new test stand at Stennis for the J-2X engine. The engine will power the upper stages of NASA's Ares I and Ares V rockets.

Stennis already is home to Apollo-era test stands that have served the nation's space program through the shuttle era. The newly proposed structure will be the first large test stand built at the center since the 1960s. Unlike the older structures, the new 300-foot-tall, open-frame design will allow engineers to simulate conditions at different altitudes.

NASA engineers need to simulate various altitudes to test the J-2X's ability to function as a second stage engine for the Ares I crew launch vehicle and the Earth Departure Stage engine for the Ares V cargo launch vehicle. To do that, the test stand will generate approximately 4,620 pounds per second of steam and use it to reduce the engine test cell pressure.

NASA will complete the new stand in time to support the first J-2X engine test in December 2010. An existing test stand at Stennis also is being modified to test the J-2X engine at sea level conditions.

Ares I will launch the Orion spacecraft, taking astronauts to the International Space Station no later than 2015, then to the moon by 2020. The Ares V will carry cargo and components into orbit for trips to the moon and later to Mars. The new spacecraft are key components of NASA's Constellation Program.

"This new test stand will enable the critical testing needed to verify the Ares I upper stage engine performance at altitude conditions," said Stennis Center Director Rick Gilbrech. "The Apollo-era test stands have served us well over the last forty years, and I'm excited that NASA will have a new stand to help us accomplish these new goals."

The test stand, along with its control center, propellant barge docks and access roadways, will be built in Stennis A Complex.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28542
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-23-2007 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA's Stennis Space Center Marks New Chapter in Space Exploration

NASA's Stennis Space Center broke ground Thursday for a new rocket engine test stand that will provide altitude testing for the J-2X engine. The engine will power the upper stages of NASA's Ares I and Ares V rockets.

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale was joined by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, U.S. Sen. Trent Lott and U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor for the landmark occasion. Also participating were NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Scott Horowitz and Stennis Center Director Richard Gilbrech, recently named to succeed Horowitz, who plans to leave NASA in October. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne President Jim Maser took part as well.

"Groundbreakings are about new beginnings," said Dale. "The first stand was erected at Stennis to test the Saturn V rocket of the Apollo program. Testing of the space shuttle engines began here in the mid 1970s. And today, we're breaking ground for a new test stand, for the new spacecraft of a new era of exploration."

Above: NASA officials and government leaders participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new rocket engine test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss. Pictured (left to right) are Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Doug Cooke, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne President Jim Maser, Stennis Space Center Director Richard Gilbrech, NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Scott Horowitz, NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Trent Lott, Rep. Gene Taylor, SSC's Deputy Director Gene Goldman, and SSC's A-3 Project Manager Lonnie Dutreix.

The Ares I and Ares V rockets are being developed as part of NASA's Constellation Program. Constellation spacecraft will be used to send astronauts to the International Space Station, return humans to the moon, and eventually journey to Mars.

"This is our generation's turn, our time to go to the moon," said Gilbrech. "One of the key steps is building the A-3 test stand. The J-2X engine has a unique set of test requirements. The best way to meet them is with the A-3."

Above: Graphic of Future A-3 Test Stand

The A-3 stand is the first large test stand to be built at Stennis since it opened in the 1960s. The new test stand will be a 300-foot-tall, open steel frame structure located south of the existing A-1 test stand. Its 19-acre site in Stennis' A Complex will include a test control center, propellant barge docks and access roadways. The test stand will allow engineers to simulate conditions at different altitudes by generating steam to reduce pressure in the test cell. Testing on the A-3 stand is scheduled to begin in late 2010.

In November 2006, Stennis' existing A-1 stand was handed over to the Constellation Program for testing the J-2X engine. Tests on J-2X components are set to begin later in 2007.

"The engines will be assembled here at Stennis, then subjected to rigorous, expert testing," Dale said. "After that, those engines and the rockets they will power will travel to Cape Canaveral. Then the finished spacecraft will lift off, headed for a new destination and a new era of exploration."

Gordon Reade
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Posts: 334
From: USA
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 03-08-2008 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gordon Reade     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there any pictures of how the test stand looks today?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28542
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2008 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The most recent photo that I am aware of was taken in December 2007:
The concrete foundation placed Dec. 18 (foreground) for Stennis Space Center's future A-3 Test Stand has almost completely cured by early January, according to Bo Clarke, NASA's contracting officer technical representative for the foundation contract. By late December, construction on foundations for many of the test stand's support structures - diffuser, liquid oxygen, isopropyl alcohol and water tanks and gaseous nitrogen bottle battery - had begun with the installation of (background) `mud slabs.' The slabs provide a working surface for the reinforcing steel and foundation forms.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28542
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-25-2009 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Awards Construction Contract For Rocket Engine Testing

NASA signed a contract Tuesday with Roy Anderson Corp. of Gulfport, Miss., for a general construction package on the A-3 test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract's value is not to exceed $45 million. Contract work includes installation of the general mechanical and electrical support for the A-3 test stand.

The A-3 test stand is being built at Stennis to test the J-2X engine for NASA's Constellation Program. The Constellation Program is developing next-generation spacecraft systems to send astronauts to the International Space Station, the moon, Mars and destinations beyond. The J-2X engine will power the upper stage of the Ares I crew exploration vehicle and the Earth departure stage of the Ares V cargo launch vehicle.

The A-3 test stand will allow engineers to analyze the J-2X engine's operating parameters by simulating conditions at altitudes as high as 100,000 feet. For these simulations, the test stand will generate approximately 4,620 pounds per second of steam and use it to reduce the engine test cell pressure.

Construction began on the A-3 test stand in summer 2007, with the first test scheduled for 2012. The structure is the first large test stand to be built since the south Mississippi site was established in the 1960s.

gliderpilotuk
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Posts: 3116
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-09-2014 04:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Bloomberg, NASA will complete the $350 million A-3 stand to test J-2X rocket engines at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi early this year. Then, it plans to mothball the 300-foot-high, steel-frame tower for the foreseeable future.
"Stennis Space Center is the nation's premier rocket engine testing facility," [Senator Roger Wicker] said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News. "It is a magnet for public and private research investment because of infrastructure projects like the A-3 test stand. In 2010, I authored an amendment to require the completion of that particular project, ensuring the Stennis facility is prepared for ever-changing technologies and demands."

Completing the so-called A-3 tower will cost $57 million, according to [NASA's] inspector general. The agency also plans to maintain it, which will run about $840,000 annually, according to Karen Northon, a NASA spokeswoman.

The A-3 tower is a relic of President George W. Bush's Constellation program, designed to send American astronauts back to the moon and beyond after the space shuttle's retirement in 2011.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4383
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 01-10-2014 03:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why build (or complete) something only to have it mothballed right away? What did I miss?

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 3123
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-10-2014 04:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thats the way we roll here in the U.S..the country is so wealthy we can afford to buy 21 military cargo planes at 50 million a piece and then immediately send them to the boneyard.

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