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PICList Thread
'Rockets'
1997\11\06@084357 by Richard Manley Set Piclist Digest

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I'm sure its usefull to have solid fuel rockets on the side tanks of the
shuttle but what is more interesting is how it is possible to reuse them. I
think that they are not made of solid fule for the purpose of reuse since I
would imagine that they will be damaged after ejection and dropping several
miles back to earth?

1997\11\06@091712 by verhage

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> I'm sure its usefull to have solid fuel rockets on the side tanks of the
> shuttle

The SSMEs (shuttle main engines) cannot lift the fully fueled shuttle
off the ground.  Without the SRB's the shuttle won't go anywhere (not
at least until enough propellant burned off).

> but what is more interesting is how it is possible to reuse them. I
> think that they are not made of solid fule for the purpose of reuse since I
> would imagine that they will be damaged after ejection and dropping several
> miles back to earth?

After seperation they deploy a series of parachutes to slow
themselves down for a water landing.

An earlier design did call for liquid fueled strap-ons, but the money
required for research and development was not available.

Lloyd

1997\11\07@154535 by Martin R. Green

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Actually, I didn't say they were made solid so they could be reused, I
said that solid rockets (at least as used on the shuttle) are
reusable.  I'm sure thay are used for more than just their
reusability.

CIAO - Martin.

On Thu, 6 Nov 1997 08:42:14 -0500, Richard Manley Set Piclist Digest
<spam_OUTRManTakeThisOuTspamAOL.COM> wrote:

>I'm sure its usefull to have solid fuel rockets on the side tanks of the
>shuttle but what is more interesting is how it is possible to reuse them. I
>think that they are not made of solid fule for the purpose of reuse since I
>would imagine that they will be damaged after ejection and dropping several
>miles back to earth?


Martin R. Green
.....elimarKILLspamspam@spam@NOSPAMbigfoot.com

To reply, remove the NOSPAM from the return address.
Stamp out SPAM everywhere!!!

1997\11\07@213203 by Wynn Rostek

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At 08:42 AM 11/6/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I'm sure its usefull to have solid fuel rockets on the side tanks of the
>shuttle but what is more interesting is how it is possible to reuse them. I
>think that they are not made of solid fule for the purpose of reuse since I
>would imagine that they will be damaged after ejection and dropping several
>miles back to earth?

They are actually reused dozens of times.  The case is machined aluminum
with steel fittings on each end.  The case (segment) goes to Utah where they
cast the fuel in place.  It's a rubbery material, sort of like a pencil
eraser.  It has a whole down the middle.  The fueled segments are sent to
KSC where they get inspected.  The SRB is built up my mating segments end to
end.  Several hundred steel pins go through holes where the ends of the case
nest.  A steel band is placed around the joint to hold the pins in place.
Several segments are pinned together to produce an SRB.

The shuttle is stacked on the SRBs, and wheeled to the pad.  When ignition
time approaches, a mechanical stop is rotated out of the way, which allows a
charge to propagate through a cord to a small rocket engine that is aimed
down the whole through the center of the SRB.  It takes about 400 ms for the
pressure to build up to the point that the SRBs start producing thrust.

After the SRB's seperate, an altimiter in the frustrum monitors the pressure
to figure out how high it is.  When low enough, the nose cap is blown off,
which deploys a pilot chute.  The pilot chute dose not slow down the SRB
much, but it does aerodynamicaly stabilize flight path.  (Bottom end first)

After a while longer, the drouge shoot is deployed.  This starts the process
of slowing the SRB.  Since the airspeed at drouge deployment is so high, the
drouge shoot is reefed.  It has two pyro based timers that cut the two
reefing lines in order, about a minute apart.  If I remember correctly, the
air speed has dropped to about 400 MPH now.

When it gets lower, the whole frustrum is blown off the front, which deploys
the three main chutes.  They slow the bird to about 60 - 100 MPH for water
impact. It will bob there with the top of the SRB just barely sticking out
of the water.  The recovery vessles deploy a dive team.  They install a plug
in the aft end where the fire used to come out.  They then pump the water
out, and it flops over and floats like a log.  They tow it back to shore,
clean it off and ship it back to Utah for more fuel.

Wynn Rostek
>
>

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