A ground firing of a five-segment solid-fueled test booster for NASA’s Space Launch System is planned Wednesday at Northrop Grumman’s test facility in Promontory, Utah.
NASA TV’s live coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. EDT (1845 GMT), and will be available on this page.
The Flight Support Booster, or FSB-1, test will help engineers evaluate new materials, processes and improvements for upgraded solid rocket boosters that will power NASA’s Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket beginning with its fourth mission some time in the mid-2020s.
Positioned horizontally in a test stand for the hotfire test Wednesday, he 154-foot-long booster will fire for around two minutes and generate 3.6 million pounds at maximum power.
NASA says the test will also provide another opportunity to evaluate motor manufacturing and performance. Northrop Grumman, through its precursor company Orbital ATK, has conducted five test-firings of the five-segment SLS booster since 2009, including two developmental motors and two full-size qualification units to certify the booster design is ready for flight.
The segments for the two boosters slated to launch on the first unpiloted SLS test flight arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in June following a train journey from Northrop Grumman’s booster manufacturing plant in Utah. Those ...