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Questions tagged [solid-fuel]

Questions about solid fuels. The rockets that use them, the fuels that are burned, and the vendors that make them.

2
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2answers
107 views

Solid hydrogen hybrid motor engine for launch?

Would hydrogen unlike water in a solid state take less space or be more stable? How would a rocket work using a block of melting solid hydrogen instead of liquid hydrogen? Has and could any kind of ...
2
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1answer
91 views

How do you avoid wasting oxidizer when designing a hybrid rocket?

I was thinking of designing a very simple and small Paraffin rocket engine as an experiment. One thing that I don't understand about these designs is how you efficiently use your oxidizer without a ...
4
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0answers
66 views

How much would mass-production impact the cost of solid-fuel rockets?

Let's imagine that, for some arbitrary reason, solid-fuel rocket stages were needed and built en masse in factories, like planes or even like cars. How much would it drive down the cost of an ...
9
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1answer
240 views

Why were large solid-fuel rockets so rare in the past?

When the Germans projected the A4 missile, they discarded solid-fuel propulsion and went on to circumvent the enormous technical difficulties of building a liquid-fuel engine from scratch. Germany had,...
4
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2answers
816 views

Have there been any spacecraft with internal SRM other than CONTOUR?

I read about the CONTOUR mission which used an internal solid rocket motor to change the trajectory. Have there been other spacecraft using a solid rocket motor which is not jettisoned after usage?
7
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2answers
254 views

Why aren't airbreathing SRBs a thing?

To the best of my knowledge, all solid rocket boosters so far use a propellant that is a solid mixture of both the fuel and the oxidiser parts of the reaction. However, given that SRBs are generally ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Do launchers using only solid propellant exist?

The question is restricted to launchers that have already been used to launch an object into orbit before today (April 2018). Some military ballistic missiles run only on solid propergol (e.g. the ...
2
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0answers
92 views

Which solid fuel is optimal for light rocket?

I am in search of comparatively cheap and powerful enough solid fuel. I've found rocket candy, but is it enough to reach 1km altitude? (My aim is a 2 metre high rocket with 0.5kg of payload.)
5
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1answer
426 views

Why did Virgin Galactic switch back to HTPB after one launch using thermoplastic polyamide (i.e. nylon)?

A subsection of Second-generation engine in Wikipedia's article on RocketMotorTwo says: New fuel formulation Rather than use rubber-based HTPB in the solid portion of the hybrid rocket motor—...
18
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2answers
4k views

Do the solid rocket boosters of the Shuttle and SLS have a self-destruct system and was it activated during the Challenger disaster?

Videos of the Challenger shuttle explosion show both solid boosters speeding on after the main tank detonated. Were they eventually self-destructed by the ground control, or why not, and why not ...
15
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1answer
2k views

How were the Space Shuttle SRBs ignited? (with what?)

I'm unable to find how exactly the Space Shuttle's SRBs were ignited, or what exactly was used to ignite the rocket. I'm trying to figure out the best way to instantly ignite a solid rocket reliably,...
12
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1answer
2k views

How does a solid propellant in a rocket work?

I'm a bit confused about how the fuel manages to get from wherever its being stored in a spacecraft into the engines, seeing as it is supposedly solid and so seems like it wouldn't be easy to move. ...
6
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1answer
228 views

Why was the Minotaur V built as a 5-stage design?

Why is Orbital Science's Minotaur V rocket a five stage design? I am aware this is derived from an ICBM design, but why would anyone want a five stage design for launching non-lethal payloads? It ...
1
vote
0answers
377 views

Could Sodium metal be used in rocket fuel?

For instance, I read that the Hercules X-265 rocket motor used in the Sprint missile was a solid double base propellant that used nitrocellulose with zirconium metal staples and nitroglycerin as a ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What solid fuel was used in the Katyushas rocket artillery of WW2?

The Katyushas were invented by the Soviets and used in WW2. They were trucks with rails firing a bunch of small rockets with a range of 3 to 12 km. These were solid-fuel rockets, but I would like to ...
6
votes
2answers
642 views

Why isn't someone building a fully reusable solid fuel rocket?

Solid rocket motors are so much simpler than liquid fueled. Why isn't e.g. SpaceX making a Falcon 9 equivalent with solid fuel only, and rescuing the segment cases with parachutes like the shuttle ...
1
vote
1answer
490 views

Comparison between solid rocket fuels. Which are better by performance and cost? [closed]

I am interested for a comparison of solid rocket fuels by their performance and cost. Comparison by specific impulse (Isp), energy that gives (which one is more energitic), density, cost to ...
8
votes
2answers
482 views

Why are there so few solid rocket satellite launchers?

At first glance, solid rocket launching makes more sense than liquid: Simple to scale. Once designed, it can be made perfectly the same, all the time. Storage - Keep for as long as you want, launch ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the correct thrust curve for a solid rocket with a simple circular hole, and why?

Going to wikipedia's article on solid-fuel rockets, I come across some graphs of thrust curves for certain bore-hole geometry. Right now I'm interested in the simplest bore-hole: a circular hole right ...
5
votes
1answer
404 views

What ever happened to SpinSat - did it work?

I can find several descriptions of what the SpinSat satellite was supposed to do. I can find some nice images of it being deployed from the ISS also. But I haven't been so successful in understanding ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How does an Electric Solid Propellant rocket work?

I saw the section in Wikipedia about Electric Solid propellants but I can't figure out what it really is, and how it works. It sounds like a solid propellant rocket that you can start and stop ...
10
votes
5answers
887 views

What limits burning speed of solid propellant?

SRBs and missiles use grain to regulate thrust over time, as only exposed surface of the propellant burns. But what causes propellant to burn only on the surface, and regulates the speed at which the ...
5
votes
2answers
260 views

Burn 1st stage structural material as fuel?

Aluminum/Magnesium alloys can burn quite nicely. The stoichiometry is favoriable. Instead of $CO_2$ which is mostly oxidizer by mass, you might end up with $Al_2O_3$ and $MgO$ as exhaust. The ...
4
votes
1answer
367 views

What does “supersonic large amplitude ID maneuver PTI” mean, and what does a tumble motor do?

In this question I linked to a YouTube video of the Ares X-1 launch. You can start listening at 02:00 for the point where these are mentioned: "Supersonic large ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it unusual to vector the thrust from an SRB?

Let me explain. The term SRB (Solid (fuel) Rocket Booster) usually refers to a solid (fuel) rocket which is attached to something else in order to "boost" it. But I just read this answer by @...
10
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2answers
406 views

What kind of missions are US surplus ICBM's capable of launching?

It has been proposed that the US military should repurpose suborbital, nuclear weapons carrying, intercontinental ballistic missiles for civil use, like Russia and Ukraine has done since decades. How ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Why did the Vanguard rocket use a solid engine for its third stage?

The Vanguard rocket had three stages. The first two were liquid-fueled and the third was solid-fueled. That struck me as odd, as solid fuel engines are almost exclusively used in atmosphere, and you'd ...
7
votes
1answer
486 views

Ways to obtain thrust curves of different grain geometries

Different grain geometries in solid-fuel rockets produce various thrust curves: I can imagine it's not too difficult to obtain a thrust curve of a specific grain geometry with a measurement while ...
31
votes
4answers
9k views

Why is there a hole in solid rocket engines?

I would like to find out why there is a straight hole down the middle in all solid rocket engine motors. I thought it only makes sense in hybrid engines where pure oxygen needs to be blown down the ...
5
votes
0answers
135 views

How does solid propellant mean bulk temperature influence solid rocket thrust and specific impulse?

The relationship is not intuitively clear to me, would like an answer with references and/or graphs. The question arose while reading about Space Shuttle's SRBs.
6
votes
1answer
466 views

What was the first large rocket to use APCP solid fuel?

I'm surprised wikipedia doesn't have a history section for its APCP article. If I'm not mistaken, early solid rockets used something other than APCP, and really really early solid rockets used black ...
12
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3answers
2k views

For a typical Shuttle mission, how much solid fuel is leftover at SRB separation?

If I understand correctly, solid booster rockets never expend literally all their fuel before jetissoning, because the burn rate slows way down in the end and it would take too long to spend it all, ...
3
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6answers
668 views

Can solid rockets be used for flexible burn time by jettisoning them?

Solid rockets have some advantages such as high thrust (good for using the Oberth effect), storability and reliability. The main problem is that they fire all their fuel once in one set way. But ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Could the solid boosters of SLS be paired together to a rescue launcher?

The solid boosters of Shuttle/SLS fly in pairs. Could a pair of them fly without SLS, carrying a smaller second stage and payload to orbit? What capacity would it have? A rescue launcher needs to ...
7
votes
3answers
896 views

Are ICBMs and orbital launchers similar enough to be co-developed today?

Russia has two types of hypergolic liquid fuel ICBMs deployed, UR-100N and R-36M2 Vojewoda and they are working on the big Sarmat. There's in this category also the Chinese DF-A5. (A list of ICBMs ...
10
votes
2answers
362 views

Can a crew access room (white room) be contaminated by rocket propellant residues during launch?

Observing a Space Shuttle launch, I noticed that the crew access gantry and its white room are too close to the SRB's flames during launch; the launch umbilical tower and its crew access device on ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Why were Delta II SRBs asymmetrically mounted?

This diagram of the Delta II 74xx-series shows 4 booster rockets mounted rather asymmetrically. All other things being equal, it looks like the net thrust of the set would push the rocket off-axis. ...
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Does the Oberth effect motivate complementing ion electric propulsion with chemical rocketry?

The solar electric ion propulsion engine of the Dawn spacecraft to Vesta and Ceres used Mars for gravity assist. Would it be gainful to complement an ion engine with a high thrust (solid) chemical ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why weren't SRBs used in the design of the Saturn V?

Were solids considered for the Saturn V? If so, why was the idea discarded? I would guess this is due to a number of reasons: Inability to throttle Technology readiness in the era Launch escape
14
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4answers
2k views

Can a solid first stage compete with a liquid fueled first stage?

The thing about solids is that they can have awe inspiring amounts of thrust compared to liquid engines, as you can see in this collection of boosters and thrust levels: Shuttle SRB - 2.8 Mlbs Ariane ...
19
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3answers
4k views

Could 3D printing be used to achieve perfect grain geometry of solid and hybrid rocket motors?

Solid cores, either for solid-fueled of hybrid rocket motors, use various propellant grain geometries to achieve thrust curve needed. For example, some of these could look like:    &...
5
votes
1answer
515 views

How will the SRBs used by the SLS differ from those used by the Shuttle?

The Space Launch System, which recently secured funding from Congress, uses many features that were developed from the Shuttle program, including the first-stage engines and boosters, and it's overall ...
6
votes
1answer
431 views

How do you handle variations in launches with a solid second stage?

Watching the Antares launch for Orb-1 mission of Cygnus, I was thinking about the booster. First stage is built in Ukraine by the company that makes the Zenit. They use the NK-33 engine, (Called an ...