“MINNEAPOLIS, March 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) successfully conducted the first test firing of the igniter that will be used on NASA‘s Ares I first stage. Today’s test at ATK’s Promontory, Utah facility generated a flame almost 200 feet in length. When ignited inside the world’s largest solid rocket booster, this flame will trigger the liftoff of the rocket that will send future astronauts into orbit. Today’s test prepares the way for the first ground test of the fully-developed Ares I first stage, a five-segment derivative of the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor, scheduled for next fall.
The Ares I igniter is the same flight-proven design used on the Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). This igniter, however, takes advantage of upgraded materials to provide higher performance in the liner and insulation. The new liner thermal properties are equivalent to those of the shuttle, but its stress/strain capability is 100 percent greater. The new insulation is also 20 percent lighter than the insulation currently on the Space Shuttle fleet, providing valuable weight savings and higher performance. Initial data showed the igniter performed as expected.”
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