- Press Release
- Jan 28, 2023
Shuttle motor test Thursday is successful; will help improve safety, reduce
Editor’s note: A photograph of the static firing is available online at the
NASA Marshall News Web site – http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWSROOM/
Data looks good on the static test of an engineering test motor for the
Space Shuttle’s Reusable Solid Rocket Booster that was fired the full
duration of 123.2 seconds Thursday, Nov. 1, at a Utah test facility.
The approximate two-minute test duration is the same length of time the
motors perform during Space Shuttle flights.
Results from the test – conducted at the Promontory, Utah, facilities of ATK
Thiokol Propulsion, an Alliant Techsystems, Inc., company – will be used to
better understand the capabilities and limits on the Shuttle’s Reusable
Solid Rocket Motor.
The test began with ignition at approximately 2 p.m. CST.
“Preliminary data shows everything is nominal,” said Steve Cash, chief
engineer for the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Project Office at NASA’s
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “The test went smoothly and
the initial look at the data indicates all objectives were achieved.”
An open assessment of the test was to be performed Friday.
An engineering test motor offers the opportunity to spot any flaws, as well
as to conduct “push-the-envelope” testing to gauge the components’ ability
to meet flight requirements. The test simulates many of the conditions that
would be experienced in flight.
The test is part of the Shuttle’s on-going safety program to verify
materials and manufacturing processes. There are 10 principal objectives
for the test of Engineering Test Motor-2 (ETM-2). The Marshall Center
requires the static – or stationary – test before new materials or processes
are included in motors flown on the Space Shuttle.
During the next several months, the data will be analyzed and the results
for each objective provided in a final report. The metal case segments and
nozzle components will be refurbished for reuse.