Orion’s 25-lb Thrusters Complete Test Series

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Aerojet has completed 100 hot-fire test sequences of an R-1E bipropellant engine it is under contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems to supply for NASA’s marked-for-cancellation Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, Sacramento, Calif.-based Aerojet said April 8.

Orion’s service module is being designed to incorporate 16 of the 25-pound thrust R-1E engines along with eight 100-pound thrust bipropellant engines and a 7,500-pound thrust engine. Aerojet is also under contract to supply a dozen 160-pound thrust monopropellant engines for Orion.

Aerojet said in a press release that the recently completed R-1E test series included more than 27,000 starts with nearly 6,300 seconds of total burn time under a variety of conditions expected for Orion.The R-1E engine is currently used on the space shuttle and provides in-space propulsion for the H-2 Transfer Vehicle that Japan uses to deliver cargo to the international space station.