Space

July 3, 2014

ATK provides propulsion, structure for test of new technologies to land larger payloads on Mars

The Core Structure Assembly for the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, manufactured by ATK Space Components in San Diego, Calif.

ATK supported NASA June 28 as it moved one step closer to landing advanced payloads on Mars following the successful test of a next generation braking system.

A world-leading producer of rocket motors, ATK provided both the rocket motor and test vehicle backbone for the test of NASA’s experimental Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator.

During the June 28 test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, a balloon carried the test vehicle from the Navy test range to an altitude of about 120,000 feet. At 11:05 a.m. local time, the LDSD test vehicle dropped away from the balloon and the ATK STAR 48B motor ignited to accelerate the vehicle to more than Mach 3.8 and an altitude of over 180,000 feet.

The flight test simulated the low pressure and punishing speeds experienced by payloads dropped into the Mars atmosphere. ATK’s STAR 48B rocket motor provided the axial propulsion for the test, while the ATK-manufactured Core Structure Assembly served as the platform for two breakthrough technologies from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory: an inflatable Kevlar® tube around the vehicle, called the Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator, and a mammoth parachute called the Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute. These new drag devices will pave the way for delivery of increasingly larger payloads to the surface of Mars.

The STAR 48B Rocket Motor, manufactured by ATK Missile Defense & Controls in Elkton, Md.

“ATK has long supported JPL and its missions to Mars,” said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of ATK’s Missile Products division. “ATK was an integral part of the team for Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover, providing propulsion for the Delta II launch vehicle, and retro rockets and gas generators for the entry, descent and landing system used to safely deliver the rovers to the surface of Mars.”

The STAR 48B propulsion system was produced at the ATK facility in Elkton, Md. The CSA for the LDSD test vehicle was developed and built at ATK’s Space Components facility in San Diego, Calif. The CSA incorporates new design features required to handle the massive loads associated with deployment of the drag devices. Among other applications, this new drag technology will enable delivery of the supplies and materials needed for long-duration missions to the red planet.

While the LDSD team expects to learn a great deal from this test, NASA has two more saucer-shaped test vehicles forthcoming, with plans to test them in the summer of 2015.




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


 
 

 

Headlines September 17, 2014

News: Pentagon open to U.S. ground troops in fight against Islamic State - The Pentagon’s top general opened the door Sept. 16 to the possibility that U.S. combat troops would be needed in Iraq, as he publicly laid out President Obama’s still-developing plans to combat Islamic State insurgents through U.S. air power and relying on an...
 
 

News Briefs September 17, 2014

U.S. to assign 3,000 troops to fight Ebola The Obama administration is preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak that has overwhelmed local health care systems and drawn appeals for help from the region and aid organizations. The troops will supply medical and logistical support and boost...
 
 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 

 
University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen

NASA airborne campaigns focus on climate impacts in Arctic

University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Oper...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist&...
 




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>