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 DENVER, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Martin Marietta Astronautics announced today that a Titan IV Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade (SRMU) was successfully test fired at 4:10 p.m. MDT Sunday, Sept. 12, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The Air Force's news release is attached.
 This firing is the fifth of five qualification tests for the SRMU, which is being developed to enhance the performance of the Titan IV, the nation's largest heavy lift space launch vehicle. Martin Marietta Astronautics is prime contractor for the Titan IV. The Air Force contract calls for building and launching 41 Titan IVs, of which 26 have solid rocket motors (SRMs) and 15 with the SRMU. The Titan IV is launched from both coasts. The first SRMU launch is scheduled for 1994.
 Fifth Solid Rocket Motor Test Successful
 EDWARDS AFB, Calif., Sept. 12 -- The Titan IV Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade (SRMU) booster was successfully test fired here at 3:10:57 PDST today (Sept. 12) at Phillips Laboratory facilities.
 The firing is the fifth in a series of five scheduled qualification tests. Today's test lasted 140 seconds, generated energy equaling 1.7 million pounds of thrust, and was conducted with the booster's internal temperature stabilized to 40 degrees prior to the firing.
 The SRMU is part of the Titan IV program managed by Space and Missiles Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, El Segundo, Calif. It is being developed to enhance the performance of the nation's largest heavy lift space launch vehicle. With the addition of the SRMU, the Titan IV will have increased reliability and a 25-percent increase in lift capability.
 According to Col. Frank Stirling, Titan IV program manager, the main purpose of the tests are to measure actual performance delivered by the SRMU and compare it to predictions. The tests verify performance of the solid rocket fuel and demonstrate the adequacy of the rocket motor structure, including its filament-wound insulated case and carbon-carbon nozzle.
 The new SRMU's will be able to lift heavier satellites into orbit, according to Col. Stirling. He attributed the improvements of the SRMU booster to advanced technology, simplified design, and modern manufacturing techniques. The enhanced performance is primarily due to the lightweight composite rocket case structure and increased capacity for the high energy solid rocket propellant.
 Col. Stirling attributed the continued successful static testing of the SRMU to the test force of personnel from the Space and Missile Systems Center, Phillips Laboratory, 6595 Test and Evaluation Group, and SRMU's contractors, Hercules and Martin Marietta.
 The SRMU's manufacturer, Hercules Aerospace Corp., Magna, Utah, conducted the test under Air Force supervision. Hercules is under contract to the Titan IV prime contractor, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group, Denver.
 Backgrounder: Large Rocket Booster to be Tested
 EDWARDS AFB, Calif., Sept. 11 -- A new solid booster rocket proposed for use with the Air Force's Titan IV space launch system will be tested today.
 This is the fifth in a series of five static tests of the Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade (SRMU) that will be conducted on Test Stand 1-C here at Phillips Laboratory facilities.
 The booster will be cooled to an internal temperature of 40 degrees. Prior tests have been conducted at 40, 60, and 90 degrees. The tests at different temperatures allow the Air Force to gain performance data over a range of expected operating temperatures.
 The rocket was successfully fired for the first time on June 12, 1992. The test series is providing data that will qualify the solid rocket booster for space launch use.
 When adopted for use, two new solid fuel rocket boosters will be combined with the liquid fueled Titan core launch vehicle. The Titan IV vehicle is the largest unmanned space payload delivery system in the Air Force and has been launched from both coasts of the United States.
 The booster rocket consists of three solid rocket segments coupled together with a nose cone section containing electronic instrumentation. The aft segment is coupled to the rocket's nozzle. The completed booster's weight is 776,000 pounds and it measures 10.5 feet in diameter and 110 feet in length. It will generate 1.7 million pounds of thrust throughout its burn time of 140 seconds.
 When the booster is statically fired, it is held in an upright position, nose up-nozzle down. The booster remains in the test stand where its thrust and performance is measured. The results will serve to qualify the booster for future use in space flight allowing larger and heavier payloads to be launched.
 The SRMU booster's performance is about 25 percent higher than the current seven segment Titan booster. Its increased performance and reliability is based on less segments, a filament wound composite rocket case, and other improvements. With less rocket case weight and increased size, the booster can be packed with more propellant for a higher thrust level and longer burn period.
 There are strict technical and weather constraints for the test. A minimum wind speed of five miles-per-hour and a wind corridor that ranges from 260 to 310 degrees allow the smoke exhaust from the rocket firing to be dispersed below harmful concentrations before passing beyond the boundaries of the 65 square mile laboratory facility. The selected wind corridor is away from populated areas such as Boron. Larger populated areas such as Lancaster and Palmdale are almost 45 miles away and upwind of the test area. The environmental assessment for the test found that there would be no significant impact from the testing. Public viewing of the test is available at designated locations and roads near the area will be open. The test will be conducted when technical and weather criteria are met.
 The fifth test will be conducted by the 6595 Test and Evaluation Group from Vandenberg AFB. They have the responsibility for conducting the test program that leads to the qualification of the booster for use with the Titan IV system. Conducting the tests enables the Air Force to be thoroughly familiar with the booster before future launches. Edwards' Air Force Flight Test Center and Phillips Lab personnel will provide support for the test.
 The Phillips Laboratory facilities here at Edwards AFB have a long history of providing both the research and development for rocket propulsion and space technologies, and the test and evaluation to prove them. The facilities have been known over the past 40 years as the rocket site, Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, Astronautics Laboratory. Today, they are part of the Air Force's superlab responsible for space and missile technologies, the Phillips Laboratory.
 The SRMU's manufacturer, Hercules Aerospace Co. from Magna, Utah, will test the rocket under Air Force supervision. Hercules is under contract with the Titan IV's prime contractor Martin Marietta Astronautics Group from Denver to provide the SRMU. The Titan IV program is managed by the United States Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center located at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
 -0- 9/13/93
 /CONTACT: Ranney Adams of U.S. Air Force, 805-275-5485; or Sharon Linhart of Martin Marietta, 303-977-5364/

CO: Martin Marietta Astronautics; U.S. Air Force ST: Colorado IN: ARO SU:

JB-LS -- LA023 -- 1370 09/13/93 14:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993

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