While I did take more pictures, the rest of the pics are courtesy of David Greene, one of the other guys from Huntsville who attended the class. David has a bad ass camera and knows how to use it so I'm going to post some of his shots.
Here is us at the fancy ATK "conference center" where we were treated to dinner on Tuesday night. It was an open bar and appetizers included salmon and steak kabobs while the main course was made up of a chicken dish, lobster, prime rib, asparagus, mixed steemed veggies, rice, and some rolls. It was, needless to say, pretty awesome.
Next, are some pictures from the highlight of the week: the static test. This is where ATK straps a rocket down and shoots it off. And you thought you had some big fireworks at your Fourth of July party. So here we are, awaiting the test:
Now remember how I said David has a super fancy camera? Well, these next 8 shots were taken only 1/8 of a sec apart. Without the camera, there is no way you can see the explosion of the plume like that in the first second of ignition. In fact, the rocket is up to about 95% of full thrust 0.6 sec after ignition.
Incidentally, at the point (1 sec into the test) we still couldnt hear the motor. It wasnt until about 7 seconds in that we could hear and feel what we had already been watching. Just a nice reminder of the orders of magnitude differences between the speed of light and sound.
The next photo was taken later in the test. The RSRM is designed to be fired for 123 sec during a shuttle mission so this test lasted about 125 sec.