FIRING UP FOR MORE BLAST-OFFS APOLLO ROCKET-ENGINE TEST STAND WILL BE REFURBISHED.Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. - A rocket-engine test stand once used for the Apollo program will be put back into use in December to support a program to develop inexpensive rockets to put satellites and small payloads into space.
An $18.5 million, 18-month refurbishment to test stand 2-A will let it be used in tests of a 25,000-pound thrust engine developed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Lockheed Martin Space Systems is one of the 4 major business divisions of Lockheed Martin. It is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
From a rich history of major companies Lockheed Martin has brought them together to offer design, integration, and production of:
The testing is in support of a program to develop a launch system capable of placing payloads weighing 1,000 pounds into orbit.
Three test firings, with the first on Dec. 15, are scheduled to be conducted at Edwards' rocket lab, formally known as the Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate.
``During the proposal phase we solicited proposals from a couple of sites and (Edwards' rocket lab) gave us the best value for the money and they could support our schedule, which is very aggressive,'' said Paul Hartley Paul James Hartley (born 19 October 1976, in Hamilton) is a Scottish professional footballer, currently playing for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. Club career
Early career , Lockheed Martin's manager of risk reduction testing for the program. ``They have a very capable test stand in 2-A.''
The testing is occurring in a joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. government agency administered by the Department of Defense (see Defense, United States Department of). and Air Force program called Force Application and Launch from the Continental U.S. - FALCON for short.
The ultimate goal of the program is to develop an aircraft capable of flying at least 3,500 mph - more than 1,000 mph faster than the current jet record - and able to carry 12,000 pounds of cruise missiles or small-diameter bombs.
The testing coming up at Edwards, however, is aimed at a more near- term objective of the program: the development of the small launch vehicle, or SLV SLV
standard launch vehicle . The SLV would be capable of placing a small satellite or other payload weighing approximately 1,000 pounds into a low Earth orbit (communications) low earth orbit - (LEO) The kind of orbit used by communications satellites that will offer high bandwidth for video on demand, television, and Internet communications. at a total launch cost of less than $5 million.
Defense officials hope it will be ready by 2010.
Lockheed Martin plans to test-fire the 12.5-foot-long rocket engine for 60 seconds. A second test, with a firing of 120 seconds, is scheduled for April, and a third, firing for 187 seconds, is planned for May.
Lockheed Martin was one of four companies selected to conduct preliminary design and risk reduction demonstrations for the program. The other companies competing in the program are Airlaunch LLC (Logical Link Control) See "LANs" under data link protocol.
LLC - Logical Link Control ; Microcosm Inc.; and Space Exploration Technologies Inc.
Defense Department officials are expected to select one contractor in 2005 to continue the development of the SLV with a demonstration launch in 2007.
If Lockheed Martin wins, it would conduct more tests at Edwards, Hartley said.
The family of rockets being proposed for the FALCON program can be as large as 250,000 pounds of thrust, according to AFRL Noun 1. AFRL - a United States Air Force defense laboratory responsible for discovering and developing and integrating fighting technologies for aerospace forces
Air Force Research Laboratory
U. S. spokesman Ranney Adams.
The Lockheed Martin rocket is a hybrid - consisting of a rubberlike solid fuel and a liquid oxidizer ox·i·diz·er
A substance that oxidizes another substance; an oxidizing agent. Also called oxidant. . Large hybrid rockets were last fired at AFRL in the early 1990s when the American Rocket Company Founded in 1985 by George Koopman, Bevin McKinney and Jim Bennett, the American Rocket Company, or AMROC, was a company that developed hybrid rocket motors.
It had over 300 hybrid rocket motor test firings ranging from 4.5 kN to 1. performed testing at Edwards.
Rocket lab officials describe test stand 2-A as the Defense Department's most capable rocket component development facility, capable of performing developmental testing on the largest rocket engines under development.
Mounted on rocky Leuhman Ridge across Rogers Dry Lake from Edwards' main installation, the concrete and steel test stand is capable of testing rockets producing 750,000 pounds of thrust.
Test stand 2-A was used in the 1960s to test F-1 engines for the Apollo Saturn V rocket and in the 1970s for the space shuttle's main engines.
Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743