Huntsville, Ala. (Sept. 20, 2023) – The Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium is making history by housing a J-2X NASA Rocket Engine, making it the only NASA rocket engine test article of its kind currently on long-term display at a professional sports venue.
The engine will be unveiled ahead of Huntsville City Football Club’s final home match of the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. CT. City of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, officials from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and officials from Huntsville City FC will all help reveal the engine before the team hosts Chicago Fire FC II an hour later on MLS NEXT Pro’s Decision Day. Tickets for the match and this special event can be purchased here.
"Being known as the Rocket City, nothing encapsulates Huntsville like Space exploration, and we are thrilled to partner with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to bring a uniquely Huntsville piece of history to Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium,” says Chad Emerson, Managing Dir. of Business Operations for Huntsville City FC.“No other stadium in the United States can say they own something quite like the J-2X NASA Rocket Engine. The engine will be a focal point for anyone who comes to a Huntsville City FC match, high school football game, or any other kind of event at the Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium.”
The engine’s namesake comes from its predecessor, the J-2 engine of the Apollo era, used on Saturn V rockets, which carried the first humans to the moon. The engine design leveraged 50 years of experience in human spaceflight with state-of-the-art technology in design processes, materials, and manufacturing to enable further human exploration of space. The development and testing of the J-2X helped usher in major manufacturing improvements, including 3-D printing of complex rocket engine components and the development of new materials.
The J-2X engine is a liquid-oxygen/liquid-hydrogen fueled rocket engine that produces nearly 300,000 pounds of thrust in a vacuum. It is a highly efficient and versatile advanced rocket engine built using the knowledge and successes of nearly a half-century of NASA spaceflight experience. The J-2X designed and built by Pratt & Wheatley Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif. for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal in North Alabama.