• Northrop Grumman's full-scale booster ignites on Wednesday afternoon. NASA TV
  • This test took place in Promontory, Utah. NASA TV
  • NASA and Northrop Grumman were collecting data on the booster's performance. NASA TV
  • This shot from the head of the booster offers a nice sense of its power, 3 million pounds of thrust. NASA TV
  • Two boosters provide 75 percent of the SLS rocket's thrust at liftoff. NASA TV
  • The rocket motor was designed to burn for 2 minutes, 6 seconds. NASA TV
  • Finally, it flamed out. NASA TV
  • This was definitely a job for a robotic firefighter. NASA TV
  • Lots of black smoke! NASA TV
  • Now the show is ending. NASA TV
  • But the booster did its work on the surrounding countryside. NASA TV

On Wednesday afternoon in Northern Utah, Northrop Grumman fired up a full-scale test version of the boosters it is building for NASA's Space Launch System rocket. Although engineers were still reviewing 300 channels of data, Charlie Precourt, vice president of propulsion systems at Northrop Grumman, said the test was successful.

Two of these large boosters, each with a mass of 1.6 million pounds, account for 75 percent of the SLS rocket's thrust during the first two minutes of flight. They are composed of five segments of a powderized, solid fuel that is ignited upon launch. Northrop has already built 26 of the 30 segments NASA needs for the first three launches of the SLS rocket.

The primary reason for Wednesday's test was that Northrop's supplier of aluminum-based fuel could no longer deliver the product. Therefore, Northrop needed to ensure that a new vendor could provide the solid rocket fuel needed for future launches of the SLS rocket beyond the first three. NASA also used the test to assess some changes to the nozzle design, said Bruce Tiller, manager of the SLS boosters office at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center.

With this test, Tiller said NASA remains on tRead More – Source

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