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.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




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>