OmegA rocket has its first live motor segment

Posted on 02 Oct 2018 and read 301 times
OmegA rocket has its first live motor segmentNorthrop Grumman has successfully completed ‘casting’ (filling with propellant) the first live motor segment for its new OmegA rocket.

The segment, developed as a part of the company’s Common Boost Segment (CBS) programme, is specifically designed to support the needs of this new intermediate — to heavy-lift rocket — part of Northrop Grumman’s initiative to develop a rocket that meets the US Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) requirements.

The casting of this aft motor segment follows the completion of an inert cast in April, which marked the largest ‘solid rocket’ motor casting project in Northrop Grumman’s history.

The inert cast enabled the team to uncover any potential process issues early on, assuring that this live cast would go smoothly.

The C600 aft segment (pictured) is the heaviest of any of the CBS motor segments.

This cast required a record fill of 33,000 gallons of propellant; for comparison purposes, the second-heaviest cast rocket motor segment made at the company’s Promontory facility in Utah was a NASA Space Launch System booster (forward segment) requiring 27,000 gallons of propellant.

Charlie Precourt, vice-president and general manager (propulsion systems) at Northrop Grumman (www.northropgrumman.com), said: “Our team succeeded beautifully in meeting this important milestone for our OmegA rocket. We have two more live motor casts, and we will be ready for ground tests next year.”

The first static test for the program is a C600, consisting of a forward and an aft segment mated together, and the second is a C300, which is a single segment motor.

Planned for 2019, these two tests will verify the first- and second-stage performance of OmegA’s intermediate vehicle configuration, which will make up most of the anticipated flights beginning in 2021.

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