Wed, Nov 12, 2008
It's Gonna Get Loud Near Promontory, UT Next Thursday
NASA and ATK will conduct the first
full-scale test fire of the motor for a new launch abort system at
1 pm MST, November 20, at the ATK Launch Systems facility in
Promontory, UT. The launch abort system will increase crew safety
for NASA's Constellation Program, which is building the
next-generation spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International
Space Station by 2015 and the moon by 2020.
The launch abort system will sit atop the Orion crew exploration
vehicle. The abort motor is designed to pull the crew module away
from the Ares I launch vehicle in an emergency situation on the
launch pad or during the first 300,000 feet after launch.
This will be the first time such a test has been conducted since
the Apollo Program tested its launch escape system in the 1960s.
The demonstration is the culmination of a series of motor and
component tests conducted earlier this year in preparation for a
test with a mock-up of the Orion crew capsule scheduled for the
spring of 2009.
NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA manages the Orion
launch abort system. ATK is responsible for the launch abort motor
under contract to Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va.
Orbital is building the entire launch abort system for the Orion
crew exploration vehicle. Lockheed Martin Corporation of Denver is
the prime contractor for Orion.
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