Rocket Altimeter Project
David VanHorn email (remove spam text)
>Back to the bad luck bit. Few people know it, but the SRB nozzles were
>slewwed over, trying to compensate for the side thrust from the leak at the
>field joint. (The SRB's are actually sections because you can't cast that
>much propellant in one go. The sections are then pinned together and a metal
>band hold the pins in place. The result is called a field joint.) They kept
>the shuttle on track, leak and all. If that leak had developed on a slightly
>different section of the O-Ring, the flame would have jetted out into space,
>never would have burned through the external tank, and only a few of us
>space workers would have ever known about it. 30 degrees of danger and we
>ended up unlucky.
Indeed. BTW: do they grease their O-Rings?
This may be a silly question.. In our hobby rockets, we also use
O-Rings. We coat them with a silicone or vaseline grease to help prevent
burn-through, and to acheive a better seal. It seems to work pretty well. I
haven't had an engine failure yet :)
I get that their O-rings are for a different purpose, but the end result is
much the same, we're both using them to seal the combustion chamber. Our
cores are sectioned, but only for postal requirements. Once they're
installed they just sit on top of each other in the casing.
I bet cleanup of those SRBs is fun! I know how much gunk is left in my casings.
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