On 18 August 2016,an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL 10 engine successfully completed a test for launching humans on the first crewed flight test of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.The flight is scheduled for February 2018 following an uncrewed test in 2017.Viewing the test at Aerojet's facility in West Palm Beach,Florida were NASA Commercial Crew programme astronauts Captain Sunita "Suni" Williams,US Navy;Colonel Eric Boe,US Air Force Ret.,and Captain Barry "Butch" Wilmore,US Navy.Colonel Robert Behnken,US Air Force,is the fourth Commercial Crew astronaut.
All the astronauts present expressed confidence in the engine after meeting the Aerojet personnel and viewing the test.
When you go through the whole process seeing the engine and seeing the professionals out there building the engines,there was no doubt the test would be a success,CAPT Williams said.*
The RL 10 helped get the New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto.It will be one of two RL 10s that will power the Atlas V rocket's Centaur upper stage that will push the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft up to the ISS for docking during the February 2018 crewed test.After the test,the RL 10 will be shipped to United Launch Alliance's Decatur,Alabama facility and bolted next to its sister engine on the Centaur upper stage.Four RL 10s will also be used for the Orion programme's new Space Launch System rocket's Exploration Upper Stage on the crewed Exploration Mission 2.*
By enabling the transport of more ISS astronauts,NASA's Commercial Crew flights will nearly double the amount of research the astronauts can complete on the station,thus making for greater progress in support of the Orion deep space missions as well as other scientific goals.NASA is also committed to transporting international astronauts on its Commercial Crew spacecraft as well as Americans.*
Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD),Boeing (BA)