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Full-Scale NASA and ATK Solid Rocket Motor Test Set for Aug. 31

WASHINGTON -- NASA and Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) will conduct a full-scale test of a five-segment, first-stage solid rocket motor at 11:05 a.m. EDT, Tuesday, Aug. 31. The test at the ATK Aerospace Systems test facility in Promontory, Utah will assess motor performance at low temperatures.

The static firing of the solid motor, designated Development Motor-2, will last two minutes. This is the most heavily instrumented solid rocket motor in NASA history, with 53 test objectives that will be measured using more than 760 instruments. The motor was built as an element of NASA's Constellation Program. It is the largest and most powerful solid rocket motor designed for flight and is highly transferable to future heavy-lift vehicle designs.

To attend the test, U.S. journalists must register with ATK by Aug. 27. For information and to request credentials, contact ATK's Trina Patterson at 801-699-0943.

NASA Television's live coverage of the test will begin at 11 a.m. and will broadcast a news conference at 12 p.m. with representatives from NASA and ATK. To participate by teleconference, reporters should e-mail Michael Braukus, for dial-in information.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit:

The motor design is almost identical to another development motor tested last year. However, DM-2 will be cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit for this full-duration firing to verify the performance of new materials. After more testing, the first-stage solid rocket motor will be certified to fly at temperature ranges between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The solid rocket motor is managed by the Ares Projects Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. ATK Space Systems is the prime contractor.

For more information about NASA, visit:

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