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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.

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11 votes
1 answer
980 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
17 votes
4 answers
4k 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, ...
DrZ214's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
8k 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:    &...
TildalWave's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Manu H's user avatar
  • 3,790
8 votes
1 answer
954 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
613 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 ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
40 votes
4 answers
13k 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 ...
user2990508's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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 @...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
14 votes
3 answers
4k 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
Erik's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do you find the propellant mass needed to reach an specified altitude? (altitude at end of burn plus altitude during coast)

This question is basically entirely explained in the title, but I'll explain it more so this question doesn't get shut down. Basically, does anyone have an equation to find the propellant mass(solid) ...
Anish Kommireddy's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
9k 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,...
Nile River's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
739 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 and Rockets about a solid rocket intended to consume itself during use rather ...
Erin Anne's user avatar
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12 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
259 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 ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k
7 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
James C's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
909 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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why do the walls of a solid rocket booster not glow red hot?

After ignition the walls of the SRB are separated from the "reaction chamber" by solid rocket fuel. But as the burn progresses, more and more fuel is used up and so the isolation from the ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
  • 3,255
20 votes
1 answer
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. ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.8k
16 votes
1 answer
650 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.
Deer Hunter's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
959 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 ...
solid's user avatar
  • 131
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Has there ever been a completely solid fuelled orbital rocket? [duplicate]

Engines and fuel management are very expensive to develop, and for smaller launch providers and space agencies this could prevent them from entering the market. My question is, would the cost savings ...
R. Hall's user avatar
  • 822
9 votes
4 answers
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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Alex Altair's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
801 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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 4,287
8 votes
3 answers
453 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
758 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), ...
Vikki's user avatar
  • 4,157
8 votes
1 answer
630 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 ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.8k
7 votes
1 answer
926 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 ...
Stu's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
916 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 ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 4,596
6 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
1 answer
585 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 ...
DarkDust's user avatar
  • 12.5k
5 votes
1 answer
583 views

What is this black smoke coming from an all solid fueled Epsilon rocket?

I saw a clip of a recent (Nov. 5th, 2021) JAXA Epsilon launch on Instagram (link). Shown differently here in a YouTube video @~0:23s: It's an entirely solid fueled ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
664 views

Does this Soyuz vehicle burn coal or oil? What is its official name?

This tweet shows the image below and says: Soyuz rocket on its way to the launch pad (on a train of course). Question: Does this Soyuz vehicle (a train engine) burn coal or oil? Does it have an ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
212 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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
103 views

Why does the Star-5A have such a bad mass ratio?

I went over the KSP-RO's Discord research notes and found this PDF about the Star kick motors. The OP wrote that the Star-5A had a mass ratio of 0.493, which seems extremely low from a solid motor ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 3,125