Rocket Test Group

To enhance rocket ground test operational effort, reduce ground test costs and facilitate activation of new facilities.

RTG is an entirely volunteer organization of rocket test facility operators.

Review of the 29th Rocket Testing Facility Operators Working Group Meeting

Fall 2007

The 29th Rocket Testing Facility Operators Working Group (RTFOWG) meeting was held at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, November 14-15, 2007, and hosted by Anthony Sones and Robert Schwer. The meeting consisted of 12 technical presentations and was attended by about 40 professionals. Presentation subject matter spanned a wide variety of testing topics, including project and facility overviews, new launch complex briefings, discussions of recent challenges, and new modeling testing developments. Two presentations highlighted the results of rocket tests performed at the university level. Tours of the local rocket testing facilities followed the presentations each day and stimulated discussions and comparisons of test stand design and rocket testing operations.

Attendees representing organizations from the industry, government, and military continually benefit from the knowledge and contacts gained at the RTFOWG's meetings. Founded with the belief that the sharing of information among testing facility operators would aid in solving problems experienced at testing facilities, the active membership numbers reflect the group's success. The technical discussions, test facilities tours, and professional contacts formed through the group have led to solutions to problems and challenges, business opportunities, and a greater understanding of the current test capabilities within the United States.

In addition to the presentations, attendees enjoyed tours of the rocket testing facilities at Stennis, and witnessed a hotfire test of a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 engine. This engine is the largest liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen engine in existence, with a thrust of 663 Klbf (2.949 MN) at sea level and 758 Klbf (3.371 MN), and is used to power the Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV).