Tag Archives: J-2X

After developing the J-2X engine for the upper stage of its SLS heavy-lift rocket, NASA now plans to mothball it.

NASA marches on! After developing the J-2X engine for the upper stage of its SLS heavy-lift rocket, NASA now plans to mothball it.

While the agency is actively seeking other missions for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) in the planetary science and military arenas, most of the human flights it has in sight for the big new rocket probably can be accomplished with an upper stage powered by the RL-10 engine instead of the J-2X. “The J-2X for certain [design reference missions] is somewhat overpowered,” said Todd May, NASA’s SLS program manager.

The main cause of this absurd situation is Congress, which has micro-managed the development of SLS from day one.

NASA halting work on its J-2X rocket engine

Par for the course: NASA, having successfully completed a 500 second test of the J-2X rocket engine, has halted all further development work on that engine.

The NASA program to build the heavy-lift rocket is expected to get $1.2 billion per year, and yet it doesn’t have enough money to develop both its first and second stages simultaneously? Kind of proves my point that NASA’s fixed labor costs, imposed on it by Congress, makes it impossible for the agency to ever build anything at a competitive price.

The result: every project dies stillborn.