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STS-114 NEW ENGINE FOR SHUTTLE



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC -  Amsat Mass. A./C #31468

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington                    July 19, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-4769)

Paul Foerman
Stennis Space Center, Miss.
(Phone: 228/688-3341)

RELEASE: 04-231

ENGINEERS TEST THE FIRST ENGINE FOR NASA'S RETURN TO FLIGHT 
MISSION

     Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center (SSC) in 
Mississippi have successfully tested one of the engines that 
will carry the next Space Shuttle into orbit.

The test today was the first on a complete Space Shuttle Main 
Engine (SSME) that will be used on the Return to Flight 
mission. The engine will be shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space 
Center for installation on the Space Shuttle Discovery. The 
Return to Flight mission, designated STS-114, will launch no 
earlier than next March and will go to the International 
Space Station.

The test began at about 4:59 p.m. EDT. It ran for 520 
seconds, the length of time it takes a Space Shuttle to reach 
orbit. Initial indications are all test objectives were 
successfully met.

"It's good to see hardware processing for Discovery moving 
forward at Stennis and other NASA centers," said Michael 
Kostelnik, deputy associate administrator for International 
Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs. "Clearly, we're 
making real progress in safely returning the Shuttle to 
flight and enabling the Vision for Space Exploration."

"This Return to Flight test is a testimony to the hard work 
of the NASA and contractor team that developed and continues 
to improve the SSME's capability to take humans to low Earth 
orbit safely," said Miguel Rodriguez, director of the 
Propulsion Test Directorate at SSC. "It is a huge source of 
pride to the NASA and Boeing team to be part of this great 
program."

Developed in the 1970s, the Space Shuttle Main Engine is the 
world's most sophisticated reusable rocket engine. A Space 
Shuttle has three main engines. Each is 14 feet long, weighs 
about 7,000 pounds and is seven-and-a-half feet in diameter 
at the end of its nozzle. It generates almost 400,000 pounds 
of thrust.

Engineers conduct rigorous testing to verify an engine is 
ready to fly. The most modern versions of the SSME include a 
new high-pressure fuel turbopump that was first used in July 
2001.

"The Space Shuttle Main Engine that flies today has gone 
through major upgrades and is safer, stronger and more 
reliable than the one that flew on the first Shuttle flight 
in 1981," said Michael Rudolphi, Space Shuttle Propulsion 
Manager.

The Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power division of The Boeing 
Co. of Canoga Park, Calif., manufactures the Space Shuttle 
Main Engines. Pratt and Whitney, a United Technologies 
Company of West Palm Beach, Fla., builds the high-pressure 
turbopumps. The Space Shuttle Main Engine project is managed 
by the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office at NASA's Marshall 
Space Flight Center in Huntsville Ala. SSC conducts engine 
tests.

For more information about NASA's Return to Flight efforts, 
visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight

-end-
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