Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NASA Complete Hot-Fire Test on J-2X Engine (with video)

By SpaceRef Editor
November 10, 2011
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and NASA successfully completed a 500-second duration hot-fire test on NASA’s J-2X engine, a key step in demonstrating the propulsion system’s ability to power humans further into space than ever before. NASA selected the J-2X as an upper-stage engine for the Space Launch System (SLS) — an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, has powered 13 successful launches this year with payloads that included astronauts; cargo; and satellites vital to space exploration, worldwide communication, navigation, defense, research and development, and weather prediction.

“The successful J-2X engine test is the latest milestone on Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s journey to help the nation safely and reliably return humans to space,” said Jim Maser, president, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is proud to have assembled and brought to test the first new human-rated engine in more than 30 years, and we look forward to working with NASA on cost-effective solutions that engage our country’s vital engineering skills, keep its industrial base strong, create jobs and preserve U.S. leadership in space.”

The hot-fire test ran full-duration for 500 seconds in the A2 test stand at John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The engine ran at a 100 percent power level to gain a better understanding of how the engine behaves during a full mission. Fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the J-2X engine will generate up to 294,000 pounds of thrust to support missions beyond earth orbit. Development testing of the J-2X engine will continue at Stennis for the next couple of years.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the engines for launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. Behind its successful designs, manufacturing processes, and hardware are Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s research and development engineers, who solve tough problems in extreme environments. For more information, go to Follow us at and

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

SpaceRef staff editor.