- Press Release
- Oct 31, 2023
Boeing Rocketdyne to Provide Crew Escape Propulsion System
The Rocketdyne Propulsion &
Power unit of The Boeing Company has been selected to provide the
liquid propulsion system for Lockheed Martin’s Pad Abort Demonstration (PAD)
for NASA’s Orbital Space Plane program.
Boeing Rocketdyne’s 200,000-pound-thrust propulsion system will be used to
launch the PAD vehicle and demonstrate key escape and recovery systems
applicable to future manned Orbital Space Plane (OSP) needs. NASA recently
awarded Lockheed Martin a contract of up to $53 million, including options,
for the work as part of the space agency’s OSP project that is part of the
Space Launch Initiative Cycle 2 TA-10 program.
“Safety is the number one priority for NASA’s new OSP that will be
initially launched from an expendable launch vehicle,” said Terry Lorier,
Boeing Rocketdyne’s Crew Escape and Survivability Propulsion (CESP) program
manager. “Building a crew escape capability into the planned OSP architecture
greatly increases the safety of the crew in emergencies.”
A liquid propulsion system offers flexibility in economically
accomplishing Lockheed Martin’s planned test program of up to seven launches.
It could ultimately offer a significant weight savings to an integrated
propulsion system that incorporates the CESP, Orbital Maneuvering System, and
Reaction Control System by using common propellants for all needs.
Rocketdyne plans initial hot-fire testing of the developmental thrust
chamber at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in the fall of 2003, acceptance testing
of the PAD engines at Stennis in early 2004, and testing of the integrated
propulsion module beginning in late 2004 at White Sands Missile Range in New
Boeing is helping NASA develop the OSP as a reliable and economical way to
transfer crew and cargo to the International Space Station and possibly serve
as a rescue vehicle. Current plans call for the OSP to launch aboard a Boeing
Delta IV, but it could also be launched aboard reusable vehicles under
A unit of the Launch & Satellite Systems business of Boeing Integrated
Defense Systems, Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power is a global leader in the
design, development and manufacture of rocket propulsion and space power
systems. In addition to the Space Shuttle Main Engine, Boeing Rocketdyne
provides propulsion systems for Delta and Atlas launch vehicles.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one the
world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis,
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion business. It provides
systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers.
It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the
world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite
manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary
systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a
global leader in launch services.