X-33 Aerospike Engine Test Complete

By Marc Boucher
May 17, 2000
Filed under ,

The X-33 program yesterday passed another hurdle as the last
of 14 planned single-engine tests of the Aerospike Engine
was completed. The test lasted 290 seconds, a new record,
but did not meet the planned time of 325 seconds. The test
was shortened after a flexible seal began to erode.

“Despite the abbreviated test, almost all of our test
objectives have been met,” said Mike McKeon, program manager
for the XRS-2200 aerospike engine at the Rocketdyne
Propulsion & Power business of The Boeing Company. “We are
now reviewing the program and will decide if we need to
conduct an additional single-engine test, or pick up the
last couple of objectives during the dual-engine phase of the

The X-33 program has been plagued by numerous problems
including the failure of the composite fuel tanks and other
components. The engine will power the X-33, a half-scale,
sub-orbital technology demonstrator of Lockheed Martin’s
proposed, commercial reusable launch vehicle called

Related links:

° May 16, 2000, Status Report
° X-33 NASA Site
° Boeing Rocketdyne X-33/RLV
° VentureStar
° XRS-2200 Linear Aerospike Engine Test Status Report (April 10, 2000)
° Shuttle veteran joins X-33 program as deputy manager
° Testimony of Ivan Bekey before the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

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