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The State

December 22, 1987

A Titan IV rocket engine, the largest such device in the Western world, was test-fired at United Technologies Corp. in San Jose, sending a plume of smoke 800 feet into the sky and causing a rumble that was heard and felt for miles. It was the first test for the new solid-fuel engines, which produce 3.2 million pounds of thrust, company spokesman Jim Mackin said. The Titans have been used by the Air Force and by other agencies such as NASA to propel satellites, space probes and other orbiters into space.

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