DM3 on display
Special to the Leader
On Saturday, Aug. 20, ATK workers, along with family and special guests, were given a up-close and personal look at ATK’s newest rocket motor, the Liberty Launch System.
The Liberty is currently in the demonstration stage and the display model was the DM3.
Liberty is a 5-stage rocket motor developed to be used on all types of spacecrafts, both manned and unmanned.
ATK will be testing Liberty in September and test flights could be possible in 2013. Initial crew operational capability could be as soon as 2015.
Liberty is the newest phase of motor that will be used, not only for government use, but also for commercial space transportation business. Commercial space exploration is an exciting prospect for ATK.
The initial view of Liberty on Saturday was hampered by lightning warnings within a 30-mile radius of ATK. Any lighting strike could set off the motor so housing was placed around it, until the threat was lifted.
The tour group was also able to see the TO22 Test Control Center, where personnel conduct the countdown during a motor test firing.
“It was kind of a mini space center control room, very impressive,” one visitor remarked. Inside the center, moon rocks brought back from previous Apollo flight, were on display.