(WAFF) - Success.
We watched it fire up and char the mountain in Promontory. But does it have what it takes to propel a massive rocket into deep space?
The Orbital ATK five-segment motor that was tested this spring in Utah performed "as designed."
This qualification motor (QM-1) will be used to provide liftoff and ascent trust for NASA's Space Launch System.
"Having analyzed the data from QM-1 for a little more than a month, we can now confirm the test was a resounding success," said Charlie Precourt, VP and General Manager of Orbital ATK's Propulsion Systems Division, and four-time space shuttle astronaut.
These test results, along with the many other milestones being achieved across the program, show SLS is on track to preserve our nation's leadership in space exploration.
NASA's SLS is scheduled to launch on its first mission in the summer of 2018.
"Ground tests are very important - we strongly believe in testing before flight to ensure lessons-learned occur on the ground and not during a mission," said Precourt. "With each test we have learned things that enable us to modify the configuration to best meet the needs for the upcoming first flight."