The Mighty Saturn Rocket Breathes Fire Again

The Mighty Saturn Rocket Breathes Fire Again

After Kennedy announced his crazy Moon idea, NASA scrambled to get rockets powerful enough to achieve that mission. Rocketdyne created the J-2, the 232,250 pounds of force beast that powered the Saturn’s second stage. This is the J-2X.

It’s the next generation engine that was intended to power Ares I and Ares V, the two spacecraft that were supposed to take us to the Moon and Mars. Capable of generating 294,490 pounds of force, the Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne J-2X is being now tested for the heavy-life Space Launch System in NASA’s A-2 Test Stand at Stennis.

This image shows a 1.9-second ignition test, known as The Burp Test. [NASA]