NASA and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) have successfully tested a four-segment space shuttle solid rocket booster (SRB) motor with propellant older than seven years, more than two years past the date allowed for space shuttle use.

The 4 December test at ATK's Promontory, Utah, test facility provides the agency with confidence that the upcoming Ares 1-X test launch, which will also use aged SRB segments, will perform as expected. ATK says the rocket burned for 123s, providing 3.3 million lb of thrust for the bulk of the test run. NASA and ATK also evaluated changes to a new nozzle design and monitored "environmental changes caused by motor pressure and sound," according to NASA.

Preliminary indications are that all test objectives were met, according to NASA. "After final test data are analyzed, results fo each objective will be published in a NASA report," the agency states. The video clip below, provided by ATK, shows an abbreviated version of the test.