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June 10, 2011

Rebecca Strecker, NASA News Chief
NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-3249

Commercial Rocket Engine Test Firing Experiences Early Shutdown

An Aerojet AJ26 flight engine for Orbital Sciences Corporations' Taurus II space launch vehicle experienced a premature shutdown during a test firing on June 9. The test was conducted on the E-1 Test Stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center. Orbital and Aerojet are investigating the cause of the early shutdown. Stennis will perform checkouts to the facility to ensure its operational integrity.

"This is the reason we test engines here at Stennis before they are installed on launch vehicles," said David Liberto, AJ26 engine project manager at Stennis. "Engine testing is a vital component of ensuring missions are successfully launched."

The AJ26 engine test supports Orbital's development activities to provide commercial cargo resupply flights to the International Space Station in 2012. The company is scheduled to demonstrate its Taurus II rocket and its Cygnus cargo transportation system in a mission later this year under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) research and development initiative.

For more information about NASA exploration, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration.

For information about Stennis, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis.


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