Washington, Sept 1 (ANI): NASA and ATK Aerospace Systems have successfully completed a two-minute, full-scale test of the largest and most powerful solid rocket motor designed for flight.
The stationary firing of the first-stage development solid rocket motor, dubbed DM-2, was the most heavily instrumented solid rocket motor test in NASA history.
To verify the performance of new materials and assess motor performance at low temperatures, the solid rocket motor was cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Ground-testing at temperature extremes pushes this system to its limits, which advances our understanding of five-segment solid rocket motor performance." said Alex Priskos.
The five-segment development motor includes several upgrades and technology improvements implemented by NASA and ATK engineers.
Motor upgrades from a shuttle booster include the addition of a fifth segment, a larger nozzle throat, and upgraded insulation and liner. The motor cases are flight-proven hardware used on shuttle launches for more than three decades. The cases used in this ground test have collectively launched 59 previous missions, the earliest being STS-3.
After more testing, the first-stage solid rocket motor will be certified to fly at temperature ranges between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit. (ANI)