Thursday, May 8, 2008

A very busy week

This has been a very busy week here at ATK Launch Services. We have documented the following...

1) Filling the forward (top) segment of the Ares I Solid Rocket Booster with an inert propellant...that took 36 hours.

2) Putting "plates" on top of the filled forward segment to let excess propellant "ooze" out.

3) Documenting the upgrades to the T-97 test stand, so that it can withstand the increased forces of the upcoming 5 segment Solid Rocket Booster test in April 2009.

4) "Popping" and removing the core that was in the aft (bottom) segment of the Ares I Solid Rocket Booster

5) Removal of the Silastic J from the same aft segment. I can't explain what it is, because it would take an hour...

6) Tonight we will document the removal of the "plates" on the forward segment (number 2 from above...). This propellant has been curing for 44 hours. We will also document any trimming that will be necessary.

7) Tomorrow we will shoot video of the ATK workers pouring the inhibitor on the newly cured forward segment.

The SRB work being done is all related to the new Ares I vehicle. Although the Shuttle uses SRB's, this stuff we are documenting is using new procedures and hardware developed exclusively for the Ares program.

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