|Solid Rocket Booster Details
|1.6 million pounds each
|polybutadiene acrylonitrile (PBAN)
|3.6 million pounds each
The QM-2 test will assess the solid motor’s performance at the cooler end of the its accepted propellant temperature range. After qualification is complete, the boosters will then be ready to proceed toward the first flight of SLS, known as EM-1, in 2018.
Significant progress is being made to meet the May 2016 QM-2 test date. The aft, forward and center-forward segments have been cast with propellant at Orbital ATK’s Promontory, Utah, facility.
“The aft and forward segments have successfully completed all non-destructive evaluation with no defect indications and are currently in final assembly,” said Fred Brasfield, Orbital ATK Vice President for NASA Programs. “The next major event for the aft segment will be installation of the nozzle, which is expected to happen in November.”
When all five booster segments are through manufacturing, the aft segment will be integrated with the other four segments for the QM-2 test. Currently, segment processing is as follows:
- The fifth and final segment, the Center Aft, is scheduled to cast later in September
- The Center Center segment has been cast, and is scheduled to begin X-Ray inspection in October
- The Center Forward segment will begin X-Ray inspection in mid-September
The nozzle for the QM-2 test motor is also in work, with instrumentation and assembly work still to be done.
Building on three decades of knowledge and experience gained with the Space Shuttle, the SLS booster is the largest, most powerful solid propellant booster ever built. The booster has been improved with the latest technology including several design, process and testing improvements for greater performance, safety and affordability. Standing 17 stories tall and burning approximately six tons of propellant every second, each booster generates more thrust than 11 four-engine jumbo commercial airliners. With more payload mass and volume than any existing rocket, as well as more energy to send missions through space, SLS has the capability to send human and robotic explorers to deep space destinations including asteroids and eventually Mars and beyond.