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Space

LOCKHEED MARTIN COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL HYBRID MOTOR TEST FIRING

NEW ORLEANS, LA, July 1st, 2004 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) conducted a hybrid rocket motor test firing at Stennis Space Center on May 19 that successfully demonstrated fuel strength integrity.

The 10-inch diameter, 7,000-lb. thrust motor burned for 7.5 seconds with a fuel ten times stronger than previous mixes. The test firing met its objectives.

“The testing demonstrated the structural integrity of our fuel grain design as we continue to advance the state of the art for hybrid rocket motors,” said Tim Knowles, Lockheed Martin’s principal investigator for hybrid rocket motors.

A hybrid propulsion system consists of a solid fuel and a separate oxidizer source. Hybrid propulsion offers significant advantages over conventional solid propellants -- where both the fuel and the oxidizer are combined -- in that hybrids are non-explosive, throttleable, lower cost and environmentally benign.

In researching hybrids for the past 15 years, Lockheed Martin Space Systems -- Michoud Operations has tested over 650 hybrid motors. Hybrid propulsion applications include small launch vehicles, high fidelity targets and launch boosters.

A high-resolution photograph of the hybrid motor test firing is available at http://www.lockheedmartin.com/michoud/gallery/gallery_index.html

Lockheed Martin Space Systems -- Michoud Operations designs and assembles large aluminum and composite structures for aerospace and other applications and builds the Space Shuttle External Tank at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Harry Wadsworth
(504) 257-0094
harry.wadsworth@maf.nasa.gov



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