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CONESTOGA ROCKET PASSES KEY TEST

 ELKTON, Md., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The new upper stage motor of EER Systems' Conestoga 1620 rocket was successfully test fired recently, marketing the final trial of the launch vehicle's motors prior to its maiden flight this spring.
 The new STAR 48V, manufactured by Thiokol Corporation, underwent a flawless firing at the rocket builder's Elkton facility. The motor also performed perfectly in an earlier test last summer.
 EER Systems, a Vienna, Va.-based company, will use the 1620 version of its fleet of small expendable launch vehicles to lift the Commercial Experiment Transporter (COMET) into orbit from Wallops Island, Va. EER is under contract to the University of Tennessee- CALSPAN's Center for Space Transportation and Applied Research to carry the 1,800-pound COMET payload and recovery module into 300-mile high orbit.
 The sea-level static test of the STAR 48V qualified the performance of a new movable nozzle configuration. The motor is based on Thiokol's STAR 48B, a spin-stabilized stage, which has flown 40 successful flights. The new nozzle can be moved by as much as four degrees to change the direction of the thrust, removing the need to spin stabilize the stage. Allied Signal of Torrance, Calif., provides the controller and actuators that move the nozzle.
 The 82-second duration test simulated a complete flight cycle. Prior to ignition, the motor had been conditioned to 100 F. EER Systems' program team, on hand to witness the test, labeled the firing a complete success.
 The Conestoga 1620 is a cluster of Thiokol CASTOR IV motors, built at their Huntsville, Ala., division, topped by the STAR 48V. A Thiokol STAR 13A slows the recovery module, built by Space Industries, Inc., of Houston, for re-entry and a parachute landing in Utah.
 -0- 3/11/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Bryant of EER Systems, 703-847-5750/


CO: EER Systems ST: Maryland, Virginia IN: ARO SU:

TW-KD -- DC032 -- 5218 03/11/93 15:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 11, 1993
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