Northrop Grumman has evaluated a motor for the launch abort system of NASA‘s Orion spacecraft through a ground-firing test held at its Promontory, Utah-based facility.
The abort motor fired upward for five seconds with flames going approximately 100 feet high and generated about 350K pounds of thrust in half a quarter of a second during the Qualification Motor-2 test conducted with Lockheed Martin and NASA, Northrop said Thursday.
The static test sought to assess the motor’s capability to operate in cold conditions and switch on within milliseconds.
The 17-foot-tall motor has four exhaust nozzles and is a component of the spacecraft’s LAS designed to jettison the astronauts in the event of an emergency upon launch.
Northrop will also supply the Abort Test Booster for the Ascent Abort-2 Flight Test that is set to take place in 2019 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The defense contractor has developed the abort motor under a contract with Lockheed, which serves as the prime contractor on the Orion program.