Author Topic: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing  (Read 11881 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/05/antares-aj-26-engine-fails-stennis-testing/

This is a developing story out of L2. I'll make additions to the article as further information arrives.

Offline catdlr

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #1 on: 05/22/2014 10:19 PM »
Great article Chris.  Always a great site to get immediate news.
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Offline arachnitect

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #2 on: 05/22/2014 10:32 PM »
super dang.

Stress corrosion cracking again?

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #3 on: 05/22/2014 10:46 PM »
Hopefully this will not set back Orbital's schedule too much.

This - and SpaceX's delays - is why it is so important to have two contracted cargo delivery services.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #4 on: 05/22/2014 11:13 PM »
Hopefully this will not set back Orbital's schedule too much.

This - and SpaceX's delays - is why it is so important to have two contracted cargo delivery services.

Hopefully Congress in its not-so-infinite wisdom learns from this and lets NASA continue with having at least two CC providers...

~Jon

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #5 on: 05/22/2014 11:23 PM »
Hopefully this will not set back Orbital's schedule too much.

This - and SpaceX's delays - is why it is so important to have two contracted cargo delivery services.

Hopefully Congress in its not-so-infinite wisdom learns from this and lets NASA continue with having at least two CC providers...

~Jon
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #6 on: 05/23/2014 12:03 AM »
Latest rev of the article, with confirmation from Aeroject Rocketdyne:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/05/antares-aj-26-engine-fails-stennis-testing/

Importantly, no one was injured.

Offline robertross

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #7 on: 05/23/2014 12:36 AM »
Latest rev of the article, with confirmation from Aeroject Rocketdyne:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/05/antares-aj-26-engine-fails-stennis-testing/

Importantly, no one was injured.

Really good article Chris. Logged right in after reading it to check L2 and this thread.

Unfortunate situation, but as others pointed out: thankfully it happened in testing, and nobody hurt.

This is why you test.
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #8 on: 05/23/2014 12:48 AM »
Yep, absolutely. Was saying to one of the people working with these engines that it's better it has a tantrum on the test stand and not half way uphill.

Offline Halidon

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #9 on: 05/23/2014 12:51 AM »
Very glad to hear nobody was injured, Stennis professionals know how to do their jobs safely and it shows. As much as any failure is a bad day for someone, it's an important reminder about why the stands are good to have around.

Offline hpras

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #10 on: 05/23/2014 04:05 AM »
Yep, as my dad used to say, so long as no one was hurt, the rest is just money.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #11 on: 05/23/2014 05:16 PM »
I assume this will expedite a decision on possibly using an ATK (Dark Knight based?) solid for S1?
DM

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #12 on: 05/23/2014 05:27 PM »
I assume this will expedite a decision on possibly using an ATK (Dark Knight based?) solid for S1?

Why, Solids can also fail...
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Offline mgfitter

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #13 on: 05/23/2014 05:49 PM »
It would be interesting to see how much damage the test stand received during this failure.

Any chance NASA might release some photo's of the E stand once the engine (sensitive hardware) has been removed?

-MG

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #14 on: 05/23/2014 06:11 PM »
I assume this will expedite a decision on possibly using an ATK (Dark Knight based?) solid for S1?
Orbital already knows that it has to replace NK-33 with something after 2016 or thereabouts.  That something could be RD-181 or solids or something else.  This test failure doesn't change anything in that regard.

 - Ed Kyle   

Offline baldusi

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #15 on: 05/23/2014 06:34 PM »
I assume this will expedite a decision on possibly using an ATK (Dark Knight based?) solid for S1?
Orbital already knows that it has to replace NK-33 with something after 2016 or thereabouts.  That something could be RD-181 or solids or something else.  This test failure doesn't change anything in that regard.

 - Ed Kyle
If this failure is indicative of a 20% failure rate for their 40 engine stock, it might move the need to replace to the left.

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #16 on: 05/23/2014 06:50 PM »
Well, that's what test stand hot firing engines is for.  To catch any anomilies before they launch the main craft with a protetil defective bird.
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #17 on: 05/23/2014 07:18 PM »
It would be interesting to see how much damage the test stand received during this failure.

Any chance NASA might release some photo's of the E stand once the engine (sensitive hardware) has been removed?

-MG
That is very unlikely to be provided to the media or the public from a NASA POV. If a public guest was present for the test it would be a little more likely unless NASA, Orbital, and/or Aerojet Rocketdyne prohibit it from being published/uploaded or sue to have it removed.

Note: Images of the past failure were not made public at the request of Aerojet.
« Last Edit: 05/23/2014 07:19 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #18 on: 05/23/2014 07:56 PM »
I assume this will expedite a decision on possibly using an ATK (Dark Knight based?) solid for S1?
Orbital already knows that it has to replace NK-33 with something after 2016 or thereabouts.  That something could be RD-181 or solids or something else.  This test failure doesn't change anything in that regard.

 - Ed Kyle   
Assuming the engine cannot be repaired, and Orbital/ATK would like continual service to ISS, it moves the deadline closer by a few months.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #19 on: 05/24/2014 04:36 AM »
I assume this will expedite a decision on possibly using an ATK (Dark Knight based?) solid for S1?
Orbital already knows that it has to replace NK-33 with something after 2016 or thereabouts.  That something could be RD-181 or solids or something else.  This test failure doesn't change anything in that regard.

 - Ed Kyle   
Assuming the engine cannot be repaired, and Orbital/ATK would like continual service to ISS, it moves the deadline closer by a few months.
My understanding is that Aerojet had some excess NK-33 engines that could be assigned to this first contract if needed. 

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #21 on: 05/24/2014 03:30 PM »
I assume this will expedite a decision on possibly using an ATK (Dark Knight based?) solid for S1?
Orbital already knows that it has to replace NK-33 with something after 2016 or thereabouts.  That something could be RD-181 or solids or something else.  This test failure doesn't change anything in that regard.

 - Ed Kyle   
Assuming the engine cannot be repaired, and Orbital/ATK would like continual service to ISS, it moves the deadline closer by a few months.
My understanding is that Aerojet had some excess NK-33 engines that could be assigned to this first contract if needed. 

 - Ed Kyle

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Offline catdlr

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #22 on: 05/24/2014 09:14 PM »
Just a bit more news:

http://www.sunherald.com/2014/05/23/5596901/no-one-injured-in-hot-fire-engine.html

Quote
Officials say the test started at 2 p.m. Thursday. About 30 seconds into the planned 54-second test, the rocket engine used in the Antares launch vehicle first stage "terminated prematurely, resulting in extensive damage to the engine."

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/05/23/5596901/no-one-injured-in-hot-fire-engine.html#storylink=cpy
« Last Edit: 05/24/2014 09:14 PM by catdlr »
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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #23 on: 07/14/2014 09:37 AM »
So, did they have a root cause for this nailed down before the ORB-2 launch? I know that the AJ-26s on Antares 4 passed their testing, but wouldn't you like to rule out commonality? The ones used in Antares-4 (which did, indeed, perform without hiccup) might've passed testing, as well as the flight itself - despite being out of design parameters..?

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Re: Antares AJ-26 engine fails during Stennis testing
« Reply #24 on: 07/14/2014 10:51 AM »
So, did they have a root cause for this nailed down before the ORB-2 launch?

They wouldn't have launched unless they were convinced they nailed it down. They did borescope inspections of these engines to verify they weren't affected by whatever that was AFAIK.

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