Progress on the Space Launch System Engines

Today, I visited the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. PWR is working with NASA to help us realize our deep space exploration goals and send humans farther into our solar system than ever before. The work they are doing is a critical component to the success of the Space Launch System (SLS), an advanced heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. Their work on the RS-25 engines will power the SLS core stage. They are also developing the J-2X engine to power the upper stage of the SLS.

PWR is one of our innovative industry partners helping us write the next chapter of our future and meet the President’s challenge to visit an asteroid by the mid-2020s, send humans to Mars in the 2030s, and create jobs right here on Earth. All of this exciting work will lead us to important new discoveries and take us to destinations we’ve never visited.

At the same time I was touring the West Palm Beach campus, the PWR-built J-2X engine powerpack was being tested at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. This record-breaking test lasted 19-minute and 10-seconds, longer than any other J-2X test to date. This test is a step in preparing for future long duration space missions. I look forward to our continuing work with PWR and our other industry partners to create a bright future for exploration.

J-2X powerpack test, Friday, June 8. Photo credit: NASA/SSC