Author Topic: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor  (Read 2451 times)

Online catdlr

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Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« on: 09/19/2018 01:25 AM »
Northrop Grumman
Published on Sep 18, 2018

On Thursday, September 20, Northrop Grumman will conduct its first ground test of a 63-inch diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63) in Promontory, Utah. Utilizing advanced technologies, the company developed this new rocket motor for use on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicle.

Read more about the company’s GEM motors here: bit.ly/2o5mToe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCOpgOfS7bA?t=001


Tony De La Rosa

Online edkyle99

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Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #1 on: 09/20/2018 10:07 PM »
Looks like a good test today.  110 seconds.

https://twitter.com/northropgrumman/status/1042860810387816449
https://twitter.com/ulalaunch/status/1042866085773471744

And a video, apparently unofficial.



 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/20/2018 10:12 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline soltasto

Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #2 on: 09/20/2018 10:08 PM »
Graphite epoxy motors will help launch rocket beginning in 2019

Dulles, Va. – Sept. 20, 2018 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) conducted its first ground test of a 63-inch diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63) today in Promontory, Utah. Utilizing advanced technologies, the company developed this new rocket motor for use on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicle.

Northrop Grumman Successfully Completes First Qualification Test of New Rocket Motor for United Launch Alliance Atlas V
On Sept. 20, 2018, in Promontory, Utah, Northrop Grumman conducted the first ground test of its newly-developed GEM 63 rocket motor that will fly on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V launch vehicle.
Northrop Grumman began developing the motor just three years ago, reaching this static test milestone in rapid time for such a complex drop-in solution to an existing launch vehicle. The team developed the innovative design that tailors motor performance to meet ULA design objectives under a cooperative development program.

“Northrop Grumman has been supplying solid propulsion motors for a variety of launch vehicles since 1964,” said Scott Lehr, president, flight systems, Northrop Grumman. “As ULA’s largest legacy supplier of solid propulsion, we’re pleased that our most recent product has reached this important milestone. The successful completion of this test enables full production to begin.”

The GEM 63 motor will be used as a direct replacement of the previous strap-on boosters on ULA’s Atlas V rocket beginning in July 2019 with the Space Test Program (STP)-3 mission that will use five boosters. Additional missions will follow, each of which may include up to five solid rocket motors.

The relationship with ULA began in 1964 when Thiokol (a Northrop Grumman predecessor company), in Huntsville, Alabama, provided three CASTOR® I strap-on rocket motors for the Delta D rocket. Several years later, CASTOR IIs flew on the Delta E rocket, and subsequently CASTOR IVs helped launch higher-performing Delta rockets. Also, CASTOR IVAs flew on the Atlas IIAS vehicle from 1993 to 2004, when 120 solid rocket boosters flew on 30 successful Atlas IIAS launches. Prior to the current Delta IV heavy launch vehicle, Northrop Grumman provided the large three-segmented Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade (SRMU) strap-on booster for the Titan IVB rocket. Thirty four SRMUs successfully flew on Titan IV from 1997 to 2005.       

Northrop Grumman, then Hercules, began developing the GEM family of strap-on motors in the late 1980s with the GEM 40, 1,003 of which have subsequently flown on 132 successful Delta II launches. The company also developed the GEM 46, 54 of which flew on six successful Delta II-Heavy launches. Northrop Grumman later developed the GEM 60, and to date 62 of these motors have flown on 25 successful Delta IV launches. The company’s family of GEM 63 rocket motors builds on this extensive flight history.

Northrop Grumman is also developing a GEM 63XL motor using internal funding for use on ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket, which will fly with up to six GEM 63XLs per flight. The first GEM 63XL case, which is the longest non-segmented, monolithic case ever manufactured, has already been wound at a new facility in Clearfield, Utah.

Both versions of the GEM 63 family use common materials and processes to maintain a high-reliability, low-cost product. The next GEM 63 motor test, scheduled for November, will satisfy additional requirements for certification by the U.S. Air Force.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit news.northropgrumman.com and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.

https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grumman-successfully-completes-first-qualification-test-of-new-rocket-motor-for-united-launch-alliance-atlas-v

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #3 on: 09/21/2018 12:10 AM »
Official video:

« Last Edit: 09/21/2018 12:10 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline Bubbinski

Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #4 on: 09/21/2018 12:18 AM »
Just got back home. The test went very well, lasted 113 seconds, no anomalies as far as I know. Here’s a shot from my phone.

« Last Edit: 09/21/2018 12:18 AM by Bubbinski »
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #5 on: 09/21/2018 06:36 PM »
ARTICLE: NGIS fires up GEM-63 motor destined for future ULA launches -

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/09/ngis-gem-63-motor-future-ula-launches/

- By Justin Davenport (@Bubbinski) who attended the firing for NSF and reviewed the test in his article.

Vulcan render by Nathan Koga for NSF.

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #6 on: 09/21/2018 11:57 PM »
A question for the more knowledgeable members of the forum: How does the GEM-63 and GEM-63XL compare to the Star-48?

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #7 on: 09/23/2018 12:38 AM »
A question for the more knowledgeable members of the forum: How does the GEM-63 and GEM-63XL compare to the Star-48?
It's about 20 times the propellant mass.  (GEM 63 97,500lb, GEM 63XL 105,900lb, Star 48A 5,357lb, Star 48B 4,431lb).

Online edkyle99

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Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #8 on: 09/24/2018 12:43 PM »
Here's a cut sheet for GEM 63 and 63XL.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Jim

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Re: Northrop Grumman to Test First GEM 63 Motor
« Reply #9 on: 09/24/2018 04:14 PM »
A question for the more knowledgeable members of the forum: How does the GEM-63 and GEM-63XL compare to the Star-48?

Not the same class.   Strap on boosters vs upper stage

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