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ATK, Air Force test rocket motor

Nov. 1, 2011 at 6:56 AM

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- ATK and the U.S. Air Force successfully tested ATK's newly developed Large Class Stage III solid rocket motor in Tennessee.

The 92-inch diameter Stage III motor is designed to ignite at altitudes in excess of 85,000 feet.

To test the motor's performance the static fire was conducted at the Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center using a vacuum chamber designed to simulate upper atmospheric conditions.

Preliminary data show all channels of data were collected and performance appears to be within predictions.

"The successful motor firing was an important milestone for the U.S. Air Force's Large Class Stage III program," said Scott Lehr, ATK Aerospace Systems vice president and general manager of Strategic and Commercial Systems. "This Stage III motor demonstrates additional performance beyond ATK's baseline CASTOR 30 motor, using state-of-the-art solid propulsion technologies.

"The results of this test are important and will apply directly to the development of next-generation systems."

The high-performance motor was developed by ATK for the Large Class Stage III program and uses emerging technologies from other Air Force developmental programs including the Propulsion Application Program and Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology.

The Large Class Stage III program is conducted under the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Demonstration/Validation Propulsion Applications Program funding to support the demonstration of technologies applicable to future strategic programs.

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