Former X-33 aerospike engine completes 2nd firing
Posted: July 25, 2001

Linear Aerospike XRS-2200 flight engine is fired for a Space Launch Initiative test. Photo: NASA
Stennis Space Center has successfully completed the second test in a three-part series for a Space Launch Initiative (SLI) test program of the Electro-Mechanical Actuator (EMA) technology used on the former X-33 programıs Linear Aerospike XRS-2200 flight engine set. The July 23 test achieved 80 percent power-level and went the full scheduled duration of 25 seconds.

The test series is a unique opportunity for NASA to effectively gain valuable experience and data from existing commercial technology.

EMAs electronically regulate the amount of propellant (fuel and oxidizer) flow in the engine. The technology is a potential alternative and improvement to the older hydraulic-fluid systems currently used by the aerospace industry to drive and control critical rocket engine valves.

All test objectives appear to have been met, pending final data review. Post-test inspections are in-work.

The third and final test in this series is planned to occur in about two weeks.

The Space Launch Initiative is managed for NASA by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.  It is a research and technology development effort designed to substantially improve safety and reliability, and reduce the high cost of space travel.