NASA, ATK Plan Full-Scale Solid Rocket Motor Test for Sept. 8

WASHINGTON — NASA and Alliant Techsystems Inc. (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 4:05 p.m. 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 solid rocket motor is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. ATK Space Systems is the prime contractor.