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  SLS: QM-1 solid rocket motor qualification test

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Author Topic:   SLS: QM-1 solid rocket motor qualification test
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44564
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2015 12:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ATK release
ATK Completes Installation of World's Largest Solid Rocket Motor for Ground Test

NASA's Space Launch System Booster Test Scheduled for March

NASA and ATK (NYSE: ATK) have completed installing the first Space Launch System booster qualification motor, QM-1, in a specialized test stand in Utah. The largest solid rocket motor ever built for flight, QM-1 is now being prepared for its static-fire test, which is scheduled for March 11.

"Testing before flight is critical to ensure reliability and safety when launching crew into space," said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of ATK's Space Launch division. "The QM-1 static test is an important step in further qualifying this new five-segment solid rocket motor for the subsequent planned missions to send astronauts to deep space."

Above: The first qualification motor for NASA's Space Launch System's booster is installed in ATK's test stand in Utah and is ready for a March 11 static-fire test.

For this test, QM-1 is being conditioned to 90 degrees to test its higher temperature capabilities against the required temperature range. Lying horizontally in the test stand, the motor is 154 feet in length and 12 feet in diameter. When fired, QM-1 will produce 3.6 million pounds of maximum thrust.

The five-segment rocket motor in conjunction with four RS-25 engines will propel NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) off the launch pad . The SLS, along with NASA's Orion spacecraft, provides a flexible deep space exploration platform to take humans and cargo to multiple destinations across our solar system.

Orion successfully experienced its first flight test in December, orbiting twice around the earth and flying as far away as 3,600 miles, – more than 15 times farther than the International Space Station and farther than a human spaceflight vehicle has traveled in 40 years. The first test flight of SLS, called Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), is just a few years away. EM-1 will use two of ATK's five-segment solid rocket motors.

The SLS five-segment motor is based on the design heritage of the flight-proven solid rocket boosters used on the Space Shuttle Program, and was upgraded using new technologies and updated materials.

"While we made modifications to our booster for NASA's new SLS, during the 30 years of the Space Shuttle Program, we also constantly monitored and improved our design," said Precourt, a four-time space shuttle astronaut.

ATK technicians are now instrumenting the five-segment rocket to collect measurements on more than 500 data channels. This information will be used to evaluate motor performance, acoustics, motor vibrations, nozzle modifications, insulation upgrades and avionics command and control performance. The full-scale motor test will further improve the safety, technology and knowledge of solid rocket motors.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44564
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-09-2015 01:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Test firing of world's largest solid rocket is steeped in space shuttle history

When the world's largest solid rocket motor is ignited in Utah later this week, it will not leave the ground, but it will fire with components that have a long spaceflight history.

The static fire on Wednesday (March 11) at Orbital ATK's facilities in Promontory, Utah, will mark the fifth test of an advanced, five-segment booster and the first of two such firings planned in support of NASA's new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The agency intends to use a pair of the 177-foot-long (54 meter) solid-fuel motors to power the SLS beginning with its first flight in 2018.

...the first SLS qualification motor (QM-1) being tested on Wednesday is comprised of hardware with a historic past.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44564
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-11-2015 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
World's largest solid rocket booster fired in ground test for NASA

The world's largest solid rocket motor roared to life in Utah Wednesday (March 11), but instead of lifting off the ground, the massive booster, laying on its side, remained in place as data was collected to qualify its use on NASA's new heavy-lift launch vehicle.

Orbital ATK, Inc., the primary contractor building the twin side-mounted boosters for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), conducted the test fire at its facility in Promontory, Utah. The motor ignited at 11:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) as scheduled and burned for the full two minutes.

"It looked really clean, we are really excited," said Charles Precourt, the general manager for Orbital ATK's propulsion systems and a former astronaut. "Really nice result."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44564
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-12-2015 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Orbital ATK release
Orbital ATK and NASA Report Initial Findings from Qualification Motor (QM-1) Test

Successful Orbital ATK Five-segment Motor Qualification Test Demonstrates Progress on NASA's Space Launch System

Data from the first five-segment qualification motor (QM-1) test conducted by Orbital ATK and NASA show the solid rocket motor performed as designed. Manufactured by Orbital ATK, the five-segment motor will be used to provide liftoff and ascent thrust for NASA's Space Launch System, or SLS.

"Having analyzed the data from QM-1 for a little more than a month, we can now confirm the test was a resounding success," said Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK's Propulsion Systems Division, and four-time space shuttle astronaut. "These test results, along with the many other milestones being achieved across the program, show SLS is on track to preserve our nation's leadership in space exploration."

NASA's SLS will launch on its first mission, Exploration Mission-1, in just a few years. The SLS vehicle, along with NASA's Orion crew capsule, will take humans farther into space than ever before.

The QM-1 static test had 102 design objectives and was supported by more than 530 instrumentation channels. A key objective of QM-1 was to test the solid rocket motor performance at high temperature (90 degrees F mean bulk temperature). Current data show the nozzle and insulation performed as expected, and ballistics performance parameters met allowable requirements. Additionally, the thrust vector control and avionics system provided the required command and control of the motor nozzle position.

Orbital ATK's new five-segment boosters for SLS leverage a flight-proven four-segment design, while implementing technological and performance upgrades including: the addition of a fifth motor segment to provide increased power, an advanced avionics system, a more environmentally friendly motor insulation design, a safer flight termination system, and more efficient and modern processing techniques. These changes were designed to meet performance requirements and increase reliability, while lowering manufacturing costs.

This first test of the SLS qualification phase of testing (QM-1) was preceded by a robust three-test demonstration phase (DM-1, DM-2 and DM-3) that helped to substantiate motor design. The qualification phase will conclude with QM-2, scheduled for next spring, fully demonstrating the motor's readiness for flight. QM-2 will test the motor performance at the lower temperature limit (40 degrees F), whereas QM-1 tested the upper temperature limits (90 degrees F).

"Ground tests are very important – we strongly believe in testing before flight to ensure lessons-learned occur on the ground and not during a mission," said Precourt. "With each test we have learned things that enable us to modify the configuration to best meet the needs for the upcoming first flight."

The next major milestones for SLS include further Boeing core stage development and testing at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, continued testing of Aerojet Rocketdyne's RS-25 engine at NASA's Stennis Space Center, and avionics and controls testing at Marshall Space Flight Center.

The SLS and Orion programs are supported by a network of hundreds of suppliers representing 47 states. Orbital ATK has 29 key SLS booster suppliers across 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

See here for discussion of NASA's and ATK's QM-1 static-fire test for SLS.

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