Looks like those Soviets knew how to build good rocket engines. Here’s a report on testing of Aerojet’s AJ26, aka NK-33, engines needed for Orbital’s Taurus II rocket : NASA Testing of Commercial Engine Flies High – NASA – Jan.28.11
> Two successful tests of an AJ26 engine that will power the first stage of Orbital’s Taurus II rocket recently wrapped up at Stennis. The two tests were so successful that Orbital engineers decided a planned third test was unnecessary. The AJ26 engine used in the testing was removed from the E-1 stand on Jan. 24, and will be returned to Aerojet in Sacramento, Calif. to be refurbished and used on an upcoming Taurus II mission.
The same day the engine was removed, the first flight engine was installed to begin regularly planned “acceptance testing” at Stennis. The AJ26 flight unit will be tested in February, and then delivered to Orbital at the Wallops Flight Facility launch site in Virginia for integration with the rocket’s first stage core.