Image: NASA's five-segment development motor, or DM-2 (Sep 2010)
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September 2010 - Technicians at ATK Space System's test stand in Promontory, Utah, gently guided a segment of NASA's five-segment development motor, or DM-2, into place in preparation for the second full-duration ground test, also called a "cold motor" test, targeted for September 2010. The motor’s overall temperature will be lowered to 40 degrees Fahrenheit to validate the motor’s performance in cold weather. Although similar to the solid rocket boosters that help power the space shuttle to orbit, the Ares I first stage motor includes several upgrades and technology improvements implemented by NASA and ATK engineers. Engineers will use the measurements gathered from the test to evaluate thrust, roll control, acoustics, motor vibrations, nozzle modifications and insulation upgrades. The full-scale motor test will advance the safety, technology and knowledge of solid rocket motors. The motor is being developed by ATK Space Systems, a division of Alliant Techsystems of Brigham City, Utah, the prime contractor for the Ares first stage rocket motor. (Credit: NASA/ATK)