NASA and the Rocketdyne Power & Propulsion division of The Boeing Company invite the media for tours and briefings on Boeing Rocketdyne's RS-68 engine for the Delta IV launch vehicle Wednesday, Nov. 6. Events begin at noon at John C. Stennis Space Center.
The media will also have the opportunity to experience first-hand a hot-fire test of a Boeing's RS-68 engine, one of the most powerful engines to be tested at Stennis since the Apollo program. The Delta IV program's first launch is scheduled for Nov. 16.
In June 1998, Boeing and Stennis entered a unique partnership that supported a new way of doing business between the government and the private sector. Boeing signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA that permits Boeing to use NASA's B-1 test stand at Stennis for up to 30 years for testing the 650,000-pound thrust liquid-fueled RS-68 engine. The adjacent B-2 test stand was used to test the Delta IV integrated Common Booster Core. Soon thereafter, Boeing also chose Stennis as the site to assemble the RS-68 engine for the Delta IV launch vehicle.
This unique agreement is a win-win situation for Boeing and for NASA. By permitting Boeing to use this world-class rocket propulsion test stand paid for with taxpayer dollars, the government is getting a greater return on its investment, while Boeing benefits from the use of a proven test facility at a reduced cost. The synergy between Boeing and Stennis will contribute to the low cost and high value of the Delta IV program.
Media will tour the Boeing Engine Assembly Facility located in the Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant Industrial Complex at Stennis. NASA and Boeing Rocketdyne personnel will make presentations and answer questions. The media will then visit the B-Complex Test Control Center followed by a hot-fire test of the RS-68 engine.
The RS-68 is the world's largest liquid-hydrogen, liquid-oxygen engine. It is the first new large, liquid-fueled rocket engine to enter production in the United States since Rocketdyne developed the Space Shuttle Main Engine in the late 1970s.
Media requiring more information on the RS-68 program should contact Dan Beck at (818) 586-4572. Media planning to attend the day's activities at Stennis Space Center should call Betty Ruth Hawkins at (228) 688-3585 no later than 4 p.m. Nov. 4 to obtain proper security clearance.