NASA, ATK Schedule Full-Scale Solid Rocket Motor Test
[Satellite TODAY 08-20-10] NASA and ATK will conduct a full-scale test of a five-segment, first-stage solid rocket motor on Aug. 31 at the ATK Aerospace Systems test facility in Promontory, Utah, the agency announced.
The two-minute static firing test will assess motor performance at low temperatures. NASA said the solid rocket motor, built as an element of its Constellation Program, is the most heavily instrumented in the agency’s history and 53 test objectives will be measured using more than 760 instruments. NASA also said the motor’s design allows it to be highly transferable to future heavy-lift vehicle designs.
“The motor design is almost identical to another development motor tested last year. However, DM-2 will be cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit for this full-duration firing to verify the performance of new materials. After more testing, the first-stage solid rocket motor will be certified to fly at temperature ranges between 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit,” NASA said in a statement.
The solid rocket motor is being managed by the Ares Projects Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., with ATK Space Systems acting as prime contractor.