Friday, February 26, 2010

Final ground check on shuttle rocket completes: NASA


A Utah Company that makes powerful booster rockets for space travel has conducted its final ground test for the nation's vanishing space shuttle program.

The firing, with the 38.4-metre rocket attached horizontally to the ground, ignited more than 450,000 Kg of propellant in a split second and took about two minutes to burn off, according to Alliant Techsystems and NASA.

About 5,000 people came to northern Utah's cape near the Great Salt Lake to watch it fire, a company spokeswoman said.

Anytime you test a rocket out here, it's cute impressive, said Trina Patterson.

NASA officials said the test went easily but that data collected from hundreds of sensors have not yet been fully analysed.

The solid motor is the same type that will help lift the space shuttle in its last four scheduled missions.

The space shuttle test - the 52nd since testing started in 1977 - was planned to ensure safe liftoff for the upcoming shuttle flights.

These solid rocket motors have verified themselves to be the safest and most reliable human-rated launch system, Charlie Precourt, an ATK vice president and shuttle astronaut said in a report.

The test symbols a turn for the company and the nation's space program.

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