Business

June 1, 2012

ATK, United Launch Alliance successfully test GEM-60 motor

ATK and United Launch Alliance conducted a successful cold-temperature ground test today of a Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM-60) solid rocket motor used to boost ULA Delta IV launch vehicles.

The main test objectives from today’s static motor firing were measuring the rocket motor’s performance at cold temperatures, qualifying a new vectorable nozzle on the motor and verifying the performance of new nozzle insulation at the lowest range of operational temperatures. Additionally, the test provides qualification for transitioning nozzle manufacturing operations from an outside supplier to ATK.

“This motor firing is an important test for ATK, as we have expanded the use of our in-house capabilities.” said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, ATK Aerospace Group, Defense & Commercial Division. “By manufacturing the nozzles ourselves, we are able to provide a better value for our customers.”

The 60-inch motor is a reliable, low-cost propulsion system comprised of a composite case. The successful test is an important milestone in the GEM-60 vectorable nozzle qualification. Initial test data indicate that the 60-inch diameter and 53-feet long motor, which was chilled to a 30F core temperature, performed as designed, producing approximately 270,000 pounds of thrust and burned for 90 seconds.

“GEM-60 motors have successfully boosted ULA’s Delta IV Medium+ launch vehicles 11 times since 2002,” said Mark Wilkins, ULA’s vice president of Program Operations. “Ground tests are an important part of qualifying modifications and upgrades to flight hardware, as well as ensuring mission success on future flights.”

The GEM-60 motor is a strap-on booster that was developed for ULA by ATK in 2000 to increase the payload-to-orbit capability of the Delta IV Medium+ launch vehicles. The first two-motor configuration of the GEM-60 boosted the inaugural flight of the Delta IV launch vehicle family in November 2002, and the first four-motor configuration flew in 2009.

The next GEM-60 motor test is scheduled for September and will be a fixed nozzle test.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally.

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.




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


 
 

 

Unmanned aircraft partnership reaches major milestone

A team of research students and staff from Warsaw University of Technology have successfully demonstrated the first phase of flight test and integration of unmanned aircraft platforms with an autonomous mission control system. The demonstration marks a significant milestone in a partnership between the university and Lockheed Martin that began earlier this year. This is...
 
 

Raytheon delivers first Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles to US Navy

Raytheon delivered the first Block 2 variant of its Rolling Airframe Missile system to the U.S. Navy as part of the company’s 2012 Low Rate Initial Production contract. RAM Block 2 is a significant performance upgrade featuring enhanced kinematics, an evolved radio frequency receiver, and an improved control system. “As today’s threats continue to evolve,...
 
 
Navy photograph

General Dynamics delivers submarine on schedule and, under target cost

Navy photograph The PCU North Dakota (SSN 784) during bravo sea trials. The crew performed exceptionally well on both alpha and bravo sea trials. The submarine North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S....
 

 
boeing-xiamen

Boeing, Xiamen Airlines celebrate airline’s first 787 Dreamliner Delivery

Boeing and Xiamen Airlines Aug. 29 celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. “We are excited to receive our first 787 Dreamliner which is also the first widebody airplane of our all-Boeing fleet...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 




0 Comments


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=""> <strike> <strong>