Encyclopedia Astronautica

Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine family. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. First flight 1966. Sea level versions with reduced expansion ratio proposed for Saturn II first stage use. Upgraded toroidal aerospike versions (J-2T-200K and J-2T-250K) studied for upgrades to Saturn upper stages. Modestly improved J-2S was tested and provided basis for X-33 linear aerospike engine thirty years later. Resurrected again for use in boosting NASA's new Orion manned capsule to orbit. In the event, NASA was unable to resist 'improving' the J-2S, and by early 2007 the engine for the second stage of the Ares 1 Crew Launch Vehicle was the redesignated and substantially different J-2X.

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