NASA as well as ATK society stimulate got completed installing the kickoff Space Launch System (SLS) booster qualification motor, QM-1, inward a specialized exam stand upward inward Utah. The largest venture rocket motor always built for flight, QM-1 is at 1 time beingness prepared for its static-fire test, which is scheduled for March 11. “Testing earlier flying is critical to ensure reliability as well as security when launching crew into space,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president as well as full general managing director of ATK’s Space Launch division. “The QM-1 static exam is an of import stair inward farther qualifying this novel five-segment venture rocket motor for the subsequent planned missions to post astronauts to deep space.” For this test, QM-1 is beingness conditioned to xc degrees to exam its higher temperature capabilities against the required temperature range. Lying horizontally inward the exam stand, the motor is 154 feet inward length as well as 12 feet inward diameter. When fired, QM-1 volition create 3.6 1 grand k pounds of maximum thrust.
“What’s impressive close this exam is when ignited, the booster volition live on operating at close 3.6 1 grand k pounds of thrust, or 22 1 grand k horsepower,” said Alex Priskos, managing director of the SLS Boosters Office at Marshall. “This exam firing is critical to enable validation of our design.”
The five-segment rocket motor inward conjunction alongside 4 RS-25 engines volition propel NASA’s SLS off the launch pad . The SLS, along alongside NASA’s Orion spacecraft, provides a flexible deep infinite exploration platform to stimulate got humans as well as cargo to multiple destinations across our solar system.
“With RS-25 engine testing underway, as well as this qualification booster firing coming up, nosotros are taking large steps toward edifice this rocket as well as fulfilling NASA’s mission of Mars as well as beyond,” said SLS Program Manager Todd May. “This is the most advanced propulsion organization always built as well as volition mightiness this rocket to places we’ve never reached inward the history of human spaceflight.”
Orion successfully experienced its kickoff flying exam inward December, orbiting twice to a greater extent than or less the public as well as flying every bit far away every bit 3,600 miles, – to a greater extent than than fifteen times farther than the International Space Station as well as farther than a human spaceflight vehicle has traveled inward xl years. The kickoff exam flying of SLS, called Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), is simply a few years away. EM-1 volition purpose 2 of ATK’s five-segment venture rocket motors.
The SLS five-segment motor is based on the blueprint heritage of the flight-proven venture rocket boosters used on the Space Shuttle Program, as well as was upgraded using novel technologies as well as updated materials.
“While nosotros made modifications to our booster for NASA’s novel SLS, during the thirty years of the Space Shuttle Program, nosotros likewise constantly monitored as well as improved our design,” said Precourt, a four-time infinite shuttle astronaut.
ATK technicians are at 1 time instrumenting the five-segment rocket to collect measurements on to a greater extent than than 500 information channels. This information volition live on used to evaluate motor performance, acoustics, motor vibrations, nozzle modifications, insulation upgrades as well as avionics command as well as command performance. The full-scale motor exam volition farther ameliorate the safety, technology as well as noesis of venture rocket motors.
The SLS as well as Orion programs are supported past times a network of hundreds of suppliers representing 47 states. ATK has 29 primal SLS booster suppliers across sixteen states.
Credit: ATK, NASA