NASA and ATK ready for Ares/STS booster test

by Chris Bergin

ATK and NASA will be conducting a static fire test of one Solid Rocket Booster (SRB), known as FSM-14 (Flight Support Motor), Thursday.

The always-spectacular test will fire over 15 million horsepower up a hillside at ATK’s test facility in Utah, in order to provide performance data on replacement insulation materials for the shuttle’s remaining flights, and test data for the first stage of the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle.

Huge amounts of VSE related insider news and presentations – THE most comprehensive place to follow Ares/Orion development – are available for download on L2. See list at the end of this article.


**ARES V / Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV) LIVE UPDATE PAGES**



The two minute static fire test is the first of 2007, following the successful FSM-13 night firing in November, 2006, which passed vital imagery evaluations for the subsequent STS-116 launch – the first night launch since the loss of Columbia in 2003.

‘The motor firing will provide the Space Shuttle Program with performance data on asbestos-free candidate insulation replacement materials to meet future environmental constraints,’ noted NASA information. ‘The test also will provide test data for the Ares I crew launch vehicle and NASA’s future exploration goals to return humans to the moon.

In all, the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama have 58 principal test objectives.

With Ares I utilizing a 5 segment version of the booster, recent static fire tests have been used for the collection of important test data, which will in turn be used in the development of the vehicle that will eventually replace the shuttle.

‘Obtain wide view far field plume radiometric measurements to support KSC VAB QD studies for Ares I,’ noted ATK information on the test objectives. ‘Obtain accelerometer, acoustic, and displacement measurements to support definition of motor-generated external loads for Ares I.’

Along with the other test objectives for the new insulation candidates, along with various other data requirements, a total of 471 Instrumentation Channels will be utilized.

‘Obtain thermal performance of all field joints using O-rings made with low-temperature V1288 seal material,’ listed other test objectives. ‘Obtain performance data on CTR insulation used in the aft and center aft segments. Obtain performance data on CTR insulation used in the flex boot assembly

‘Qualify the performance of the nozzle CCP liners (except nose cap) that were manufactured using Enka rayon-based CCP at the standard carbonization temperature.

‘Obtain ultrasonic measurements for real-time non-destructive monitoring of the phenolic material in the AEC during motor operation. Obtain pressure, heat flux, temperature, and radiometer data from gage blocks on the aft exit cone.’

The test is scheduled to take place at 3pm Eastern on Thursday, in Promontory, Utah, north of Salt Lake City.

This article will be updated after the test.

Selection of L2 Resources For Ares I, V and Constellation: Updates Constellation launch schedule through to Orion 15. Orion Seat test photos. New ML Graphic and info. New Ares V graphic and baseline data. Large collection of hi res Orion paracute drop tests. SIX Part Series of Ares I Upper Stage Graphical Overviews. DAC-1C DDD Vast Slides on Vehicle Design. ATK First Stage Presentation. 39B Lightning Towers Slides. DAC-1C Departure points to DAC-2 Upper Stage Graphcs (Many Changes).

Orion/CEV Display Layout Presentation (40 pages) – Feb 5. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV – Feb 2. Weather Shield (Rain Shield) for Orion on the pad – Feb 1. New Super hi-res images of Ares I – Feb 1. ATK Cutaway graphics of Ares I – perspective and axonometric – Feb 1. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. CEV Paracute Assembly System (CPAS) Presentation.

Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) overview presentation – Jan 16. Major changes to Ares I Upper Stage – expansive details and data. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. Saturn Twang Test Video for use with Ares I-1R. CLV Umbilical Trade Matrix XLS.

Vehicle interfaces for the DAC 1C version of Orion Ares – Jan 3. Ares I-1R Test Flight Plan (full outline) Presentation. Ares I-1 timeline and modification expanded info. Ares I troubleshooting latest. Ares I Reference Trajectory. Boeing’s STS to Ares – Lessons Learned Presentation. Latest Ares I and Ares V baseline Configuration image and data. CLV DAC-1C (Changes to CLV Upper Stage).

Ares I-1: Four Seg+Dummy ‘Tuna Can’ stage. Ascent Developmental Flight Test Presentation. CLV Pad 39B Handover Info and Latest. New images of CLV on top of new MLP and LUT. Lockheed Martin CEV/Orion Updates. Constellation news updates. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV.

90 Minute Video of Constellation all hands meeting. CLV TIM Meeting Information. CLV/CaLV Infrastructure, Timelines and Information. Escape System Trade Study Presentation.

CEV-CLV Design Analysis Cycle Review (DAC-2) Presentation. Constellation SRR updates. CLV Stick – Troubleshooting/Alternatives/Updates. New CEV Images (include abort mode). Flight Design and Dynamics Division CEV update. CLV Mono-propellant RCS system. CEV pressurisation system review. CLV/CEV Configuration Images. The 2×3 Seg SRB Crew Launch Vehicle Option Presentation…plus more.

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