Friday, February 17, 2012

NASA Rocket Tests for Future Planetary Flights

Private Xombie Rocket Aces NASA Landing Test

Date: 16 February 2012 Time: 02:18 PM ET
Xombie private rocket
Masten Space Systems' Xombie rocket blasts off on Feb. 2, 2012, on a brief flight to demonstrate new control software.
CREDIT: Draper Lab/Masten Space Systems/NASA
A private suborbital rocket passed a landing test for NASA with flying colors this month in a succesful trial run of technology that could help future spacecraft touch down on other planets or moons.
On Feb. 2, Masten Space Systems' Xombie rocket rose 164 feet (50 meters) off a launch pad in the California desert, moved sideways the same distance, and then landed softly on another pad. The entire flight lasted just 67 seconds.


NASA Performs First J-2X Powerpack Test of the Year
  by Jennifer Stanfield for Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville AL (SPX) Feb 17, 2012

In a brief but dazzling display, a 1.86-second burst of flame emerges from the A-1 test stand at Stennis Space Center as NASA kicks off the first in a series of J-2X powerpack tests the evening of Feb. 15. This image is captured from the video of the test, with an inset showing a close-up of the J-2X engine.

Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center conducted an initial test of the J-2X engine powerpack Feb. 15, kicking off a series of key tests in development of the rocket engine that will carry humans deeper into space than ever before.



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