Questions tagged [solid-fuel]

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

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10
votes
1answer
829 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 ...
17
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4answers
3k 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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1answer
231 views

What are the advantages of solid iodine propellant and how is it used for ion propulsion?

I was reading about different sources of propellant for ion thrusters, Xenon being the most common. However, in more recent articles I've found more and more mentions of Solid Iodine being used as ion ...
35
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4answers
11k 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 ...
21
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3answers
6k 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:    &...
14
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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 ...
6
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2answers
2k 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 @...
6
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1answer
742 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 ...
10
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1answer
3k 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 ...
13
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3answers
3k 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
16
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1answer
493 views

How far have autophage rockets been developed?

Ars Technica reports on a May 24 phys.org press release/precis on a University of Glasgow paper in Journal of Spacecraft of Rockets about a solid rocket intended to consume itself during use rather ...
7
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1answer
824 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 ...
5
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6answers
804 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 ...
6
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0answers
134 views

Could the SS520 be used to return a payload from Mars to Earth?

The Japanese SS520-5 nanosat launcher has a payload of 5kg or so to LEO on an all solid fuel rocket with a total mass of about 2.6 tons. To reach LEO its delta-V totalled over all three stages must be ...
18
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1answer
5k 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,...
16
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5answers
3k 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k 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 ...
6
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1answer
694 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 ...
20
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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. ...
13
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3answers
843 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 ...
9
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3answers
982 views

Why doesn't Rocket Lab use a solid stage?

I was just reading about the Scout, an all-solid rocket, and thought of Rocket Lab's Electron, which seems to have a similar mission of deploying small payloads to orbit. I understand the engines to ...
8
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2answers
338 views

Are more details about the fatal rocket motor accident at Cape Canaveral in April 1964 available?

The 1966 book The Life and Death of a Satellite by Alfred Bester contains an account of a accidental ignition of a third-stage solid rocket motor in a Delta rocket spin test facility at the Cape which ...
8
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3answers
409 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 ...
8
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1answer
543 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k 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 ...
6
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1answer
1k 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—which ...
6
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1answer
706 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
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0answers
306 views

How do HMX-fuelled rockets launch without exploding?

Unlike most civilian solid-fuel rockets, which use ammonium perchlorate/aluminium fuels with a rubber binder (known in the industry as ammonium perchlorate composite propellant, or APCP for short), ...
6
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1answer
340 views

Which rockets use(d) solid-fuel upper stages?

The Antares is unusual in that it's using solid-fuel in the second stage. I was surprised about that and a couple of questions immediately popped up which are already covered on this site: How can a ...
2
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1answer
189 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 ...