Plume Milestone

Engineers at the Arnold Engineering Development Center on the grounds of Arnold AFB, Tenn., last month successfully test fired the 100th rocket motor in the 15-year history of the center’s J-6 large rocket motor test facility. The Feb. 11 test was meant to validate the performance and structural integrity of a Minuteman III third-stage motor built in December 2000. “We want to make sure that these motors are performing the way they should,” said Randy Quinn, an AEDC project manager. The J-6 facility was built in the early 1990s and has been used since 1994 to test Minuteman, Peacekeeper, and other rocket motors. (March 6 Arnold report by Philip Lorenz III)