- Press Release
- August 12, 2022
NASA Forms Team To Review Space Shuttle Main Engine Test Incident
Robert Sackheim, assistant director and chief engineer for propulsion at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, will lead a team to review the automatic shutdown of a recent
Space Shuttle Main Engine test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, MS.
At about 5 seconds into the planned 200-second test of a new high-pressure fuel turbopump configuration, higher than expected test temperatures caused the Shuttle Main Engine to shut itself down using its own internal safety mechanisms.
The engine being tested was not a flight configuration. It is a development unit used to validate the engine’s capability to operate at higher-than-normal temperature levels. The test used a main combustion chamber smaller than those currently flown on the Shuttle, which increases temperatures in the pumps to test for
different temperature limits.