ATK, NASA Demo Rocket Engine for 2018 Solar Mission

NASArocket EbizNASA and ATK have test-fired a solid rocket motor that the company designed for the space agency’s Solar Probe Plus program.

The STAR 48GXV engine will be used to help launch a NASA spacecraft in 2018 aboard an Atlas V rocket on a mission to study the sun’s outer atmosphere, ATK said Thursday.

ATK’s platform is composed of a thrust vector control system, lightweight exit cone materials and a lightweight graphite composite case, ATK says.

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is developing the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft through a program run by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

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