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