The State : Many Shaken by Rocket Test
The test firing near San Jose of a rocket booster motor designed for use in the Titan IV space launch alarmed more than a thousand area residents with its sensational rumble and smoke. Officials at the San Jose Police Department and Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department said they received almost 1,300 calls after the two-minute demonstration firing in the mountains south of San Jose. “Most of them just heard the big noise and saw the smoke and wanted to know what happened,” said Officer David Aguilar, who said police received about 650 calls. United Technologies Chemical Systems Division, which is producing the seven-segment solid rocket booster motor, reported that a plume of fire rose about 800 feet into the air, topped off by a spectacular smoke cloud rising several thousand feet before dispersing.