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FIRING TESTS OF SPACE STATION PROPULSION TEST ARTICLE UNDERWAY

 WHITE SANDS TEST FACILITY, N.M., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Static firing tests of Space Station Freedom's propulsion development test article began in late December at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.
 The test series will validate the concept and preliminary design of the propulsion module, which will be used for space station attitude control, orientation, speed and altitude control and avoidance of space debris.
 During the space shuttle's second space station assembly flight, two propulsion modules will be positioned on Freedom. Two more will be added following man-tended capability, and an additional pair prior to permanent manned capability.
 Early modules will have 13 thrusters, located at both ends and on the top of each module. On later modules the number of thrusters will be scaled down to nine. The thrusters can be fired independently, allowing precise positioning of the station.
 The test article beginning tests in New Mexico has 10 small thrusters, each with an operational range of 9 to 25 pounds thrust, and three large thrusters with 20 to 55 pounds thrust.
 "We have seen Space Station Freedom progress from concept to design and now to validation of hardware," said Larry Morata, vice president and general manager of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace's Space Station. "We are on the way to constructing a facility that will promote science and exploration for years to come."
 McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD), under contract to NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, is responsible for development and testing. McDonnell Douglas previously carried out structural dynamics and vibrations testing at JSC.
 The test series will continue at White Sands as needed to complete validation of the design.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /CONTACT: Anne McCauley or Evelyn Smith of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 714-896-6211 or 714-896-1300; Jim Cast of NASA Headquarters, 202-453-8536; or Kyle Herring of Johnson Space Center, 713-483-5111/
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: New Mexico IN: ARO SU:

KJ -- LA036 -- 2846 01/07/93 17:45 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1993
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