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X-33 aerospike engines pass first twin-firing test
Posted: Fri, Feb 9, 2001, 11:21 AM ET (1621 GMT)
X-33 aerospike engine test firing Two engines that will be used by NASA's X-33 reusable launch vehicle technology demonstrator successfully completed their first test firing this week. The two XRS-2200 aerospike engines were fired for 1.1 seconds Tuesday at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The ignition, or "burp", test was the first time two of the engines were fired together, after fourteen tests of a single aerospike engine wrapped up last year. Additional tandem tests of the two engines are planned in the coming months, with the length of the tests gradually extended to the durations required for a test flight of the X-33. The engines will then be installed on the X-33 for a series of surborbital test flights from California to Utah and Montana; those flights, originally scheduled for 1999, are now tentatively planned for 2002.
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