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Sun, Aug 28, 2011

NASA And ATK Full-Scale Solid Rocket Motor Test Set For Sept. 8

Five-Segment Solid Rocket Booster Burn Expected To Last About Two Minutes

NASA and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) will conduct a full-scale test of a five-segment, solid rocket motor at the ATK Aerospace Systems test facility in Promontory, Utah, at 1605 EDT, Thursday, Sept. 8. The static firing of the five-segment solid rocket motor, designated Development Motor-3 (DM-3), will last approximately two minutes. DM-3 is the third in a series of development motors and the most heavily instrumented solid rocket motor in NASA history, with a total of 37 test objectives measured through more than 970 instruments.

The DM-3 incorporates several performance-based improvements to the designs of the first two development motors. Additionally, the core of DM-3 will be heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit for this full-duration firing to verify the motor's performance at high temperatures. This test will continue to advance understanding of five-segment solid rocket motor performance and specifically assess performance at the highest end of the motor's accepted temperature range. Through development testing, the solid rocket motor will be certified to fly at ambient temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The DM-3 test will follow wind constraint requirements different than past development motors. Two days before the test, ATK's public relations will notify registered media of a go/no-go decision. If no-go, the test will slip to the next day. Notification of a decision to proceed will be made via email, website  and social media (Facebook and Twitter).

The solid rocket motor is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. ATK Space Systems is the prime contractor.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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