On Dec. 17, at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, a team of operators from Stennis, Orbital Sciences Corporation and Aerojet filled 55 seconds with all three during the second verification test fire of an Aerojet AJ26 rocket engine. Once verified, the engine will be placed on a Taurus II space vehicle and used to launch a cargo supply mission to the International Space Station.
It is all part of NASA’s effort to partner with commercial companies to provide space flights through the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services joint research and development project. Through that program, Orbital has agreed to provide eight cargo supply missions to the space station by 2015. Stennis has partnered with Orbital to test the engines that will power the missions.