April 4, 2012

NASA, ATK complete SLS booster milestone

NASA and ATK successfully completed the first test for NASA’s Space Launch System booster program March 28 at ATK’s Promontory, Utah, test facility.

This demonstration was a key avionics and controls test designated Flight Control Test 1 and included a fully integrated flight heritage thrust vector control system with the new SLS booster avionics subsystem.

The avionics subsystem is responsible for booster ignition, nozzle steering and booster separation. This test will specifically focus on the avionics subsystem’s ability to start-up, monitor, steer and shut down an SLS booster nozzle TVC system.

This test marks the first time a new avionics subsystem interfaced with and controlled an previously developed TVC system, performing an SLS launch simulation. The avionics subsystem is responsible for commanding the vectoring of the booster’s nozzles during flight. In addition to a new avionics subsystem, the test included new electronic ground support equipment which monitored and coordinated activities between the test facilities, avionics subsystem, and TVC system. This test effort is one in a series of tests to reduce risk and validate the avionics subsystem design early in development life cycle.

“Today’s test was a great milestone for ATK and NASA’s SLS program,” said Fred Brasfield, ATK’s vice president, Next-Generation Booster. “The results not only validate the system, but also our streamlining efforts to produce a product that is robust, sustainable and affordable.”

Affordability was designed in from the onset of developing a new avionics subsystem. From a common chassis design, to utilization of 14 common circuit cards, to standardization of cable designs, to single piece process flow – the company has incorporated lean manufacturing and continuous improvement principles in the avionics design.

“This successful test of the Flight Control System is a big step forward for NASA’s Space Launch System, an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit,” said Brasfield.

Two additional tests are planned for the avionics and controls system, culminating in supporting the first Qualification test of the five-segment motor which is currently scheduled for spring 2013.

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Report calls NASA essential for national security

Maintaining and advancing an international leadership role in space is an essential component of national security for the United States, according to a new report published by TASC, Inc. The report details ways in which NASA can strengthen the country’s national space security posture, foster international collaboration and benefit the economy, even during times of...

Aerojet SEP study demonstrates affordability enhancement for NASA exploration

Aerojet, a GenCorp company, completed a Solar Electric Propulsion mission concept study for NASA Glenn Research Center that demonstrated the ability to reduce the mission cost for NASA Human Exploration cargo missions by more than 50 percent through the use of existing flight-proven SEP systems. Self-funded under a collaborative Space Act Agreement, Aerojet’s SEP mission...

Independently sponsored space telescope to be launched to the Moon

The International Lunar Observatory Association, led by American businessman/educator Steve Durst, plans to place an astronomical observatory on the Moon to capture never before seen images of the galaxy, stars, Moon and Earth and broadcast them in support of the worldwide Galaxy Forum 21st Century Education program. A ‘Global Demonstration’ of the International Lunar Observatory...


Aeroshell to protect Mars Science Laboratory on descent

Lockheed Martin photograph The MSL aeroshell is a capsule comprised of two parts; the back shell and the heat shield. Prior to installation of the thermal protection system on both parts, the aeroshell structure went through st...

NASA selects contract for water, waste water revitalization

NASA has selected RTD Construction, Inc., of Zephyrhills, Fla., to provide construction services for the revitalization of Kennedy Space Center’s water distribution and waste water collection systems. The maximum potential value for the two-year fixed price contract is approximately $25.6 million. RTD Construction, Inc. will replace more than 125,000 feet of existing water mains and...
Image by NASA

NASA’s Space Launch System passes major agency review, moves to preliminary design

Image by NASA An artist rendering of the various configurations of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The flexible configuration, sharing the same basic core-...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>