Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully tested the rocket engine slated for use on the new Ares launch vehicles. The tests took place at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on the powerpack, gas generator and turbopumps of the J-2X rocket engine. “These are significant milestones for the next generation of launch vehicles,” said J-2X program manager John Vilja. “It’s a perfect blend of history and innovation, calling upon our proven successes from the Apollo era and latest technology from the 21st Century.” NASA and Pratt & Whitney also recently signed off on the preliminary designs for the J-2X. The Ares launch vehicle will send astronauts to the International Space Station and on missions to the moon.