NASA and ATK Successfully Test Ares First Stage Motor
On Sept. 10, 2009, NASA and industry engineers lit up the Utah sky with the initial full-scale, full-duration test firing of the first stage motor for the Ares I rocket. The Ares I is a crew launch vehicle in development for NASA's Constellation Program.
ATK Space Systems conducted the successful stationary firing of the five-segment solid development motor 1, or DM-1. ATK Space Systems, a division of Alliant Techsystems of Brigham City, Utah, is the prime contractor for the Ares I first stage. Engineers will use the measurements gathered from the test to evaluate thrust, roll control, acoustics and motor vibrations. This data will provide valuable information as NASA develops the Ares I and Ares V vehicles. Another ground test is planned for summer 2010.
> Video: DM-1 Mirror Shot (Windows, streaming)
This video of the ignition of the Ares I rocket’s development solid rocket motor, or DM-1, is captured from a high-speed camera aimed at a mirror positioned 50 feet from the nozzle at 5,000 frames per second. This unique view -- shot during the DM-1 test firing Sept. 10 at ATK Space Systems’ test stand in Promontory, Utah -- shows ignition from inside the core of the motor. The 12 slots of propellant in the forward segment appear, and then are quickly overcome by the inner flame. The actual mirror survives for less than a millisecond before it is destroyed by the 3.6 million pounds of thrust exiting the motor. The DM-1 is managed by Ares Projects at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. ATK, a division of Alliant Techsystems of Brigham City, Utah, is the prime contractor for the Ares I first stage.
> Video: Gantry Camera Angle (Windows, streaming)
> Video: DM-1 Red Camera (Windows, streaming)
> Video: DM-1 Post Test (Windows, streaming)