Media Invited To View Ground Test Of Orion Launch Abort Motor

May 15, 2017 – On June 15, NASA, Lockheed Martin and Orbital ATK will conduct the first of three qualification ground tests of the launch abort motor that will be used for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Orion will carry crew and launch on NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System, enabling new missions of exploration across the solar system.

What: Vertical ground test firing of launch abort motor
When: Thursday, June 15, 1 p.m. MDT
Where: Orbital ATK facility in Promontory, Utah

During the event, U.S. media will receive behind-the-scenes access to tour Orbital ATK’s solid rocket motor manufacturing area and have the opportunity to interview NASA, Lockheed Martin and Orbital ATK executives. During the test, media will be located adjacent to the VIP test viewing area with a great view of the test firing.

Media must apply for credentials: Please contact Kay Anderson (Orbital ATK) at 435-230-2787 to register. Will need full name (as it appears on driver’s license, affilitation, cell phone, citizenship and address.

Test Objectives/Background:

  • The abort motor is the primary motor in the Launch Abort System (LAS) on Orion and in an emergency, the LAS would safely jettison the crew module away from the launch vehicle.

  • The motor is more than 17 feet tall, three feet in diameter and is equipped with a manifold that has four nozzles and turns the flow of the flames to create a pulling motion.

  • The abort motor’s function is to pull the crew capsule to safety in an emergency situation on the pad or during launch, up to 300,000 feet in altitude.

  • The abort motor is fitted into a specially-designed vertical test stand, with the nozzles pointed skyward.

  • The launch abort motor will fire for five seconds, with the exhaust plume flames reaching up to 100 feet in height.

  • Thrust delivered by the motor will reach 400,000 pounds in one eighth of a second.

  • A public viewing area is available along State Road 83 North approximately 20 miles west of Corinne, Utah.

  • Note:

  • Media passes are required in order to view the test from the media viewing area; requests need to be made by 4 p.m. on June 12.

  • Reporters must be U.S. citizens; if not please contact Orbital ATK at least two weeks prior to obtain clearance.

  • Interviews can be arranged in advance with NASA, Orbital ATK and Lockheed Martin Orion representatives.

  • Broadcast: If you plan to bring live equipment, it needs to be scheduled in advance to arrange for parking.