Aerojet Completes Acceptance
Testing On NASAs 2nd Orion R-4D Engine
November 5, 2010 – Aerojet company in conjunction with Lockheed Martin and NASA, successfully completed acceptance testing on the second R-4D development engine.
The R-4D is the
Aerojet engine that will be used on NASA’s Orion crew exploration
vehicle for the service module auxiliary propulsion. Eight R-4D engines,
arranged in four pods of two each, will provide thrust for critical
acceptance testing was a critical milestone in the Orion Service Module
Auxiliary Propulsion Program. Completion of this testing demonstrates
incremental progress and opens the way for the next phase of development
This testing achieved several firsts for the program including flight design bimetallic (Columbium-Titanium) nozzle; flight design valves (120V and 72.25 ohm coils); flight-like pressure transducer; validation of Orion-specific fabrication and test processes; verification of Orion-specific tooling and special test equipment; and demonstration of new processes that include the Aerojet Electric Discharge Machined (EDM) R-4D -11 injector.
“It was very
gratifying to see the fruits of a three-year design effort come together
in a very successful engine test. It was a flawless demonstration of
engineering and manufacturing expertise,” said Aerojet Orion Program
Manager Scott Jennings.
the complete engine complement for the Orion Service Module including:
16 25-pound-thrust engines arranged in four pods providing RCS
capability, eight 100-pound-thrust bipropellant engines arranged in four
pods providing auxiliary axial thrust for system maneuvers and a
7,500-pound-thrust Orion main engine providing axial thrust for major
position changes and deorbit.
Aerojet will supply 12 160-pound-thrust monopropellant engines for the
Orion crew module reaction control system and the jettison motor that
provides thrust needed to separate the launch abort system from the crew
module in either a nominal or aborted launch scenario.
Orion is a
spacecraft which was designed by Lockheed Martin for NASA, the space
agency of the
spacecraft is projected to carry a crew of four astronauts. The
spacecraft was originally designed to be launched by the Ares I launch
vehicle, for the Constellation Program. As of 11 October 2010, with the
canceling of the Constellation Program the Orion vehicle is now planned
to be launched onto top of a Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle.
Orion would launch
from Launch Complex 39 at
government proposed cancellation of the Constellation program in
February 2010 and was signed into law October 11. The bill is basically
a retooling of the Constellation Program, moving the objective away from
a moon base and more towards a NEO mission and an eventual Mars landing.
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