Saturday, September 12, 2009

ATK successfully tests Ares motor

ATK Space Systems, which is building a motor for a new space rocket, successfully held a test-firing of the motor at a NASA facility in In Promontory, Utah Thursday.

This was the second test firing of the motor that will be used for the first stage of the Ares I crew launch vehicle that NASA is developing. The first test on August 27 was canceled with 20 seconds left in the countdown because of a problem with the ground controller which sends power to the system. After an investigation, researchers blamed the shutdown on a faulty part, which has been replaced.

The two-minute test collected data from 650 sensors to evaluate the motor’s performance.

ATK Space Systems, a division of Eden Prairie-based Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK), is the prime contractor for the Ares I first stage, a single, five-segment reusable solid rocket booster derived from the Space Shuttle Program’s reusable solid rocket motor, according to NASA.

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