What are the temperature constraints on various solid boosters/launchers; what are the lowest and highest temperatures they can tolerate? (One answer per booster/launcher/stage)

  • $\begingroup$ Inspired by this answer, which mentions the need to control the Minotaur second stage's propellant mean bulk temperature. $\endgroup$
    – DylanSp
    Jun 20, 2021 at 19:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ but you haven't started the community Wiki answer yet Go for it! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 26, 2021 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) had a set of specification limits and a set of certified use limits on Propellant Mean Bulk Temperature

  • The specification limits were 40°F to 90°F.
  • The certification limits were 50°F to 82°F.

From NSTS 07700 VOLUME X – BOOK 1 (November 1998) Flight and Ground System Specification, Book 1, Requirements

The following parameters shall define the performance of the SRB over the PMBT range from 40°F to 90°F unless otherwise noted. For the purpose of systems analysis and generation of design/certification environments, a PMBT range from 50°F to 82°F shall be used.

On one of the flights I worked on, the manufacturer's prediction for the PMBT for a July launch was 83°F which resulted in a bunch of meetings and paperwork.

  • $\begingroup$ Sadly, ignoring those limits is what led to some Challenging fireworks. $\endgroup$ Jun 29, 2021 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ @PcMan the death of 7 people was hardly "fireworks" Also, the limits may have been different then. I quoted the 2008 numbers. $\endgroup$ Jun 29, 2021 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ More to the point, those PMBT limits were not ignored or violated in the Challenger launch. The PMBT at launch for 51L was nowhere near the 40F limit on the morning of 1/28/86. $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2022 at 16:32

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