A one-segment solid-propellant rocket motor of the type which will provide first-stage booster power for the Air Force Titan III-C standard space launch vehicle was statically test-fired Saturday (Feb. 23) by United Technology Center, a division of United Aircraft Corporation.
MS Rocket in bay
MS Air Force officials
CU Rocket nozzle area
MS Titan III-C vehicle
MS Scaffold removal
MS Rocket motor
MS Block house TV monitor (sound starts)
MS Block house ready
MS Rocket fires
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Background: A one-segment solid-propellant rocket motor of the type which will provide first-stage booster power for the Air Force Titan III-C standard space launch vehicle was statically test-fired Saturday (Feb. 23) by United Technology Center, a division of United Aircraft Corporation.
The successful firing at UTC's Development, Processing, and Test Center, Coyote, Calif., represented an important milestone in the over-all Titan III development program.
Under Air Force contract, UTC is developing a single motor consisting of five such segments. Two of theses five-segment motors will give Titan III-C a liftoff thrust of more than 2 million pounds. They will be the largest and most powerful solid-propellant motors ever developed.
The 50-ton test motor fired Saturday produced a peak thrust of about 250,000 pounds and burned for approximately 120 seconds. Ten feet thick and more than 22 feet tall, the motor consisted of the single segment with fore and aft closures, a nozzle, and equipment for the thrust vector control (steering) system.
Fired nose down in a huge concrete test stand, the rocket motor produced a towering burst of flame when it was ignited. The firing was observed by UTC and Air Force officials in a nearby blockhouse over closed-circuit television.
Barnet R. Adelman, UTC division president, said the test -- the first 120-inch diameter motor firing under the Titan III program -- provided data in such areas as propellant performance, thrust vector control, case insulation, and nozzle materials.
UTC was awarded a contract for development of the big Titan III-C first-stage booster rockets late last year. Additional static tests of one and five-segment motors will be conducted at the company's Development, Processing, and Test Center and at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Titan III-C flight tests will begin in 1965 at Cape Canaveral.
Titan III-C will consist of a modified Titan II liquid-propellant core; a liquid-propellant upper stage and control module with multiple restart capability, and the two five-segment, solid-propellant booster rockets. The workhorse space launch vehicle is planned for a variety of multiton manned and unmanned missions, including the Air Force X-20 Dyne- Soar space glider, during this decade.
Associate prime contractors in the Titan III program are UTC; Martin Marietta Corp., system integration, airframe, assembly, and test; AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors, guidance; Aerojet-General Corporation, liquid propellant; Ralph M. Parsons Company, architectural engineering and design, and Aerospace Corporation, systems engineering and technical direction. The Space Systems Division of the Air Force Systems Command is executive manager for the program.
UTC, with headquarters at Sunnyvale, Calif., is engaged in research and development of rockets, liquid and solid propellants, and advanced propulsion systems.