Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) will conduct a full-scale test of a five-segment Solid Rocket Motor at the ATK Systems Test Facility, Utah at 4:05pm EDT on September 8.
DM-3 (Development Test Motor 3) is the third in a series of tests of Solid Rocket motors by ATK and NASA. The Burn will last for just over two minutes. This will be the most heavily instrumented test of a SRM in NASA History with 979 intruments that will gather data during the test. A total of 37 Test Objectives have been addressed. DM-3 will test the Motor’s capabilities in a high temperature environment. For that, the entire Booster is heated up to 90°F. The motors are certified to operate in a temperature range from 40 to 90 °F.
The test will continue to advance understanding of the system, especially when compared to data from previous tests including Ares I-X. The rocket motor is 154 feet in length and has a diameter of 12 feet. It provides 3.6 Million pounds of thrust. As the individual casings of the motors are resuable, this one has a vibrant Space Shuttle Program history. In total, the cases have flown on 42 STS Missions and have been part of 6 stationary ground tests.
The Space Shuttle used a 4-segment SRBs.
The 5-segment Motor is expected to launch the nation’s next generation of space-exploration vehicles and could also be used for commercial space flight.