NASA To Conduct Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Test in Utah May 1


WHAT: Full-scale, full-duration test of a space shuttle reusable solid rocket motor designated Flight Verification Motor No. 2, or FVM-2

WHERE: The test facility of ATK Launch Systems, a unit of Alliant Techsystems Inc., in Promontory, Utah, north of Salt Lake City

WHEN: Thursday, May 1, at 1 p.m. MDT; 2 p.m. CDT

NASA will conduct a two-minute, static, or stationary, firing of a space shuttle reusable solid rocket motor, FVM-2, at a Utah test facility. The primary objective is to evaluate possible performance changes as motors age. Space shuttle solid rocket motors are certified for flight for five years. FVM-2, at just over seven years old, will be the oldest reusable solid rocket motor ever fired. FVM-1 was fired in February 2005 at the age of four years. FVM-1 and FVM-2 are considered "sister" motors because they were manufactured within the same time frame and from similar materials. This test will provide a unique opportunity to compare performance data from two motors of different ages. Both motors were stacked at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., destacked and returned to Utah. The test also will provide data for the Ares I crew launch vehicle and NASA's future exploration goals to return humans to the moon.

Space shuttle reusable solid rocket booster motors are routinely tested by the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project Office managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

News media attending the test must register in advance with ATK Launch Systems. A pass is required to view the test. Requests must be in place by April 30, 4 p.m. MDT. Interviews may be prearranged in advance with ATK and NASA representatives. Arrangements may be made to allow media access near the motor prior to and following the test. If you are bringing live broadcast equipment, please schedule in advance to arrange for parking. For more information and to request a media pass, contact Trina Patterson, ATK Launch Systems, at 801-251-3517 or 801-699-0943.

For supporting information for this news release - such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files- please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news

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