The Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power business unit of Boeing [NYSE:BA] successfully completed hot-fire testing of an RS-88 rocket engine at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The 50,000-pound-thrust engine was designed and built by Boeing for use on Lockheed Martin’s Pad Abort Demonstration (PAD) vehicle, scheduled for launch in late 2005. The vehicle will carry four RS-88 engines. A series of 16 hot-fire tests were conducted adding up to 53 seconds of firing, including multiple full-duration six-second burns.

"This is a significant milestone in the development and demonstration of the PAD propulsion system," said Terry Lorier, Rocketdyne’s TA-10 propulsion program manager. "The entire NASA/Rocketdyne/Lockheed-Martin team has done a great job in successfully completing the engine and performing this test on schedule."

The liquid oxygen and alcohol powered thruster was originally designed by Rocketdyne under NASA’s BANTAM program and has been modified for application to the Lockheed-Martin PAD vehicle. Critical Design Review of the PAD propulsion module is planned for later this month.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite manufacturer and leading provider of sp
ace-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a global leader of launch services.