Engines Tested At Stennis Lift Shuttle Into Orbit

Workers at NASA's Stennis Space Center are celebrating after a new rocket engine design developed and tested at Stennis lifted the Space Shuttle Atlantis into orbit Thursday morning.

The design is called the Block 2 Engine. Stennis officials say it's more and fuel efficient than the old Space Shuttle main engine. The engines are equipped with a new high pressure turbo pump.

"We're very excited," Keith Brock, Deputy Project Manager for Space Shuttle main engine testing at Stennis, said. "This has been a long-awaited milestone. We've been able to achieve first flight of the Block 2 design. It's a new fuel pump design that's now in place for the Space Program. It's a more robust safer engine so we're very pleased with it."

Stennis workers tested and flight certified the engine that went up Thursday morning back in February. NASA spent around $556 million developing the new engine.