Thiokol Propulsion successfully test-fired a Minuteman first stage rocket engine Tuesday at its test facility near here.

The static test was the first of eight motors to be fired in the qualification phase of the Air Force Minuteman Propulsion Replacement Program/Technical Insertion Program. Five more static tests are planned by Thiokol Production over the next 16 months, and two flight motors are to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in late 1999."Completion of the program phase will qualify Thiokol to remanufacture Stage 1 motors," said Lauren Sides of Cordant Technologies, owners of Thiokol Propulsion.