CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. -- Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne has successfully completed a series of tests on a thruster destined for Boeing's Commercial Space Transportation spacecraft, designated CST-100.
Boeing is one of several companies working to develop crew transportation capabilities under the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
The goal of the program is to help spur innovation and development of safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and launch vehicles capable of transporting astronauts to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.
Twenty-four thrusters will be part of the spacecraft's orbital maneuvering and attitude control system.
The thrusters will help the CST-100 maneuver in space and during re-entry. They'll also help i n the event of an abort during launch or ascent.
During the tests, a thruster was fired in a vacuum chamber that simulated a space-like environment.
The tests verified the durability of the thrusters in extreme heat, as well as evaluating other performance parameters.
All of NASA's industry partners, including Boeing, continue to meet their established milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities.
NASA also is developing the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System, a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.