Press Release

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s Next Generation J-2X Upper-Stage Engine for Future Human Spaceflight Successfully Begins Demonstration Testing

By SpaceRef Editor
July 21, 2011
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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has successfully completed a chill test and 1.9 second ignition test of NASA’s J-2X engine at John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss. The J-2X upper-stage engine is in development to power NASA’s next era of human spaceflight. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX – News) company.

“The successful start of J-2X engine testing demonstrates Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is ready to be a part of the next generation of future space solutions, including a heavy-lift launch vehicle as well as commercial space options,” said Walt Janowski, director and program manager, J-2X Engine Program, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “Having a plan now for future space needs is paramount to our national security, our industrial base and our nation’s ability to continue accessing and exploring space without being dependent on foreign providers.”

The J-2X is based on a proven design that could provide a safe and reliable solution for NASA’s future heavy-lift launch vehicles. The engine also leverages the investment taxpayers have already made in the Constellation program and other programs such as the space shuttle.

Fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the J-2X engine will generate 294,000 pounds of thrust to lift a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. The engine will continue testing over the next several months, ahead of Congressional deliberations on additional funding for NASA.

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 main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is headquartered in Canoga Park, Calif., and has facilities in Huntsville, Ala.; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Stennis Space Center, Miss; and Carlstadt, N.J. For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to

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.