E Test Complex

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E Test Complex
E Test Complex

Center: Stennis Space Center
Location: Hancock County, MS
Year Built: 1993
Historic Eligibility: Not currently eligible
Important Tests: hybrid rocket engine; Integrated Powerhead Demonstration engine

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[top] History

The E Test Complex at Stennis Space Center, formerly called the Component Test Facility, is a versatile, three-stand complex for rocket engine and component testing. The complex includes seven separate test cells, and is capable of testing that involves ultra high-pressure gases and cryogenic fluids.

The facility was first seriously proposed in the late 1980s to support the joint Air Force-NASA Advanced Launch System (ALS) project. This project ultimately faltered, but the construction of the E Test Complex was a major milestone towards Stennis Space Center becoming a "Center of Excellence for Propulsion Testing," and allowed the center to undertake types of testing it could not previously perform.

The first tests actually performed at the E Test Complex were on a commercial low-cost hybrid rocket motor system in 1994, in partnership with the American Rocket Company, and the complex has also been used to test the Integrated Powerhead Demonstration (IPD) engine, the first reusable hydrogen-fueled rocket engine developed since the Space Shuttle Main Engine. The IPD engine has been designed, developed and tested through the combined efforts of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Aerojet, under the direction of the Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The E Complex has also been used to test components for other systems, including the space shuttle and the A-3 Test Stand currently under construction, and is also being used to test Orbital Sciences Corporation’s AJ26 Aerojet engine designed for the Taurus® II, which will provide commercial transport to the International Space Station.

[top] Photos

[top] Documents

1997 Herring - Way Station to Space: A History of the John C. Stennis Space Center

2007 NASA - Propulsion Testing

[top] Films

250K Hybrid Motor test on the E-1 stand

TRW 650K Thrust Chamber testing on the E-1 stand

2006 Integrated Powerhead Demonstrator test on the E-1 stand

Peroxide (H2O2) Motor test on the E-3 stand

Hybrid Sounding Rocket test on the E-3 stand

[top] Links

Stennis Space Center Engineering and Test Directorate home page

Stennis Image Retrieval System

John C. Stennis Space Center home page

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