They came, they tested... it was a success. Aerojet Rocketdyne ran an acceptance test on their liquid-fueled RS-68A booster engine. The three-minute hot-fire test, considered routine, was conducted by the company’s Center of Excellence for Large Liquid Rocket Engine Assembly and Test located at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. The test is done to validate engine performance prior to delivery to the customer in Decatur, Alabama.
This is Aerojet Rocketdyne’s 119th hot-fire test on the production model of the RS-68 engine family. The test highlights the testing regime that the company has improved during its half-century of operations at Stennis.
Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake stated, “The Delta IV launch vehicle has a perfect track record, making it a pillar of the nation’s assured access to space. Given the important payloads launching on the Delta IV, the reliability of the RS-68A booster engine is the key to delivering 100 percent mission success.”
The RS-68A is the most powerful liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen booster engine and provides 702,000 pounds of lift-off thrust, which is equivalent to 17 million horsepower. The RS-68A, which was certified for use in 2011, carries forward the strong legacy of the RS-68 engine that powered the first flight of the Delta IV in November 2002.