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Motor Burn Scheduled for March 19 at Wallops

NASA will conduct a static burn of a Peregrine solid rocket motor on Wallops Island at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., March 19, 2016.

Results and analyses of the burn will be applied to two other Peregrine motors at Wallops.

This burn will not include launching the motor. The Peregrine motor is being placed into a stand and will be static fired in a horizontal position. The motor is highly instrumented to give engineers data on its performance. In addition, high speed cameras will monitor the burn.

The Peregrine sounding rocket motor development started as a NASA Engineering and Safety Center project and was designed in-house by NASA engineers, but was built in cooperation with commercial suppliers from across America. Peregrine may eventually be used as an alternative to current motors used by the NASA Sounding Rocket Program under the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

The Peregrine motor is 20-feet long and 20-inches in diameter. It provides 30,000 pounds of thrust. The thrust for the Peregrine is a little more than half that of the first stage Terrier motor used in suborbital rocket launches earlier this month from Wallops.

People near Wallops Island may hear a slight rumble during the burn which may last up to two minutes.

The static motor burn will not be web streamed. Updates on the countdown for the burn will be available on the Wallops Facebook page.

Dates have not been determined for additional burns, or a possible launch of the final motor.


Keith Koehler
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia