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Questions tagged [srb]

Questions regarding the solid rocket boosters used to propel spacecraft, often during launch.

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7 votes
1 answer
273 views

Why does this sounding rocket have black sooty exhaust with mach-diamond-like oscillations? Is this unusual?

File footage of a sounding rocket with a dark, non-luminescent, sooty exhaust with mach-diamond-like oscillations is shown in the video 1957-1959 IBM 704 Computer - Vanguard Satellite Program "...
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

How would larger solid rocket boosters have improved the space shuttle's capabilities?

I was told that the new SLS that NASA is building is using the same SRBs that the space shuttle used just with one extra segment added. Five instead of the original four. If the shuttle had used these ...
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,...
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

How are SRBs and solid rocket motors transported safely? Do they ever end up on trucks driven down public highways?

The BBC News article The Rocket Scientists Mixing Up a Giant Firework begins with: In a remote corner of tropical South American jungle, French scientists are mixing a ‘cake’ with a difference – a ...
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the purpose of the aft skirt on the Space Shuttle and SLS Solid Rocket Boosters?

The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) used by the Space Shuttle and SLS have a skirt near the bottom. What is it for? Is it only to support the stack?
20 votes
3 answers
4k views

How does a single SRB control attitude?

The Ares I-X was a test flight from the Constellation program for crewed Ares I-launched Orion capsules. If liquid fueled rocket motors can gimbal, how do solid rocket motor-propelled spacecraft ...
3 votes
1 answer
163 views

Are the Delta IV Heavy’s attachments for SRBs removable?

The Delta IV (which uses solid rockets in a couple configurations) shares a "Common Booster Core" with the Delta IV Heavy, which does not. Since Delta IV must have attachments for the solid ...
8 votes
1 answer
230 views

What is the cabling on the exterior of the SLS solid rocket boosters that wasn't on the shuttle solid rocket boosters?

I noticed what appears to be foamed-over cabling running roughly parallel to the systems tunnel on the exterior of the SLS Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). The cabling appears to run all the way from the ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do the Titan SRBs have an angled engine bell?

Looking at pictures of Titan rockets with solid rocket boosters, the bell is at an angle. Why would they do that? https://historicspacecraft.com/Rockets_Titan.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
1 vote
0 answers
54 views

How is the rocket equation affected by changing the number of engines or boosters? [duplicate]

Specific impulse is not affected by the number of boosters or engines on a rocket, correct? Let's say I take a rocket with two SRBs and add to more for the first stage. The specific impulse of the ...
4 votes
1 answer
704 views

For Shuttle SRB solid fuel perforations, what is the shape of the double-truncated-cone?

I understand the 11-point star perforations in the solid fuel in the top-most SRB section. Several articles say that the remaining sections had a double-truncated-cone perforation. Is my illustration ...
5 votes
3 answers
432 views

What happens if you use an expired solid rocket booster?

Prior to the launch, there was media coverage about how the SLS solid rocket boosters were set to expire in December (which could have caused the launch to be delayed). Was this expiration date based ...
7 votes
0 answers
717 views

What makes exhaust from aluminum-based SRB propellant so bright?

The brightness and color of the extremely bright light produced by the Space Shuttle SRB's is discussed in this answer and in comments below it, though the main subject there is the dim blue light ...
4 votes
1 answer
575 views

What was the Lockheed design solution for the shuttle SRB field joint and how was it superior to the failure prone Morton Thiokol field joint?

In an effort to quickly post this question I've elected to (for the moment) not provide links to my searches. I've found tons of references, studies, reports, images etc to the failed Thiokol field ...
19 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why were they using segmented boosters on Space Shuttle?

After learning how the solid fuel is protecting the casing of the SRB from the heat of the combustion in this answer I have to ask this question. As we know, it's exactly this segmentation of the ...
2 votes
0 answers
498 views

What is the most powerful solid rocket fuel (highest isp) and it's combustion temperature

I wanted to know what the most power full solid rocket fuel is. I do not mean theoretical once like metallic hydrogen. Are solid rocket fuel mixtures prepared in a non-ideal mixture? In other words, ...
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

Preventing backfire in rocket engines [duplicate]

In a rocket engine - specifically the SOLID FUEL ones, the "combustion chamber" burns the propellant, creates hot exhaust gases, which pass through the diverging nozzle and create thrust. In ...
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why can solid rockets be both the skinniest and most spherical launch vehicles while liquid fuel rockets have a more limited range of aspect ratios?

Question: Why can solid rockets be both the skinniest and most spherical launch vehicles while liquid fuel rockets have a more limited range of aspect ratios? Are there fundamental engineering ...
13 votes
1 answer
859 views

Why do the shapes of these two exhaust plumes from an Atlas V 411 look different?

The Atlas V 411 configuration is interesting because there is a single SRB on one side of the first stage, requiring the main engines to vector substantially to keep the thrust mostly axial. The ...
5 votes
1 answer
598 views

Why is there a need for a "forward skirt" segment on SLS solid rockets?

The SLS solid rockets have a "forward skirt segment" above the five true rocket propellent segments. What is the purpose of this segment? I believe that it contains the avionics for the ...
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How were vibrations supposed to be handled in an Ares I?

The basic concept of an Ares 1 consisted of a five-segment SRB and some liquid-fuelled upper stage. The SRB was derived from the four-segment Space Shuttle SRBs. A similar concept was later promoted ...
1 vote
0 answers
212 views

In the event of SRB ignition failure, could jettison of the other “lit” SRB prevent catastrophe?

Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) are popular launch boosters, used on the Space Shuttle, Ariane 5, Atlas V and SLV. However, SRBs have a number of failure modes, most of which result in catastrophe. ...
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could the SRB's have separated successfully at 70 seconds into flight

The shuttle had a switch on panel C3 which allowed the crew to trigger a manual separation of the SRB. This switch had to have a purpose when moved from Auto to manual mode. What would have ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why was the Atlas V's SRB kept attached for 1 minute after burnout in the OFT-2 mission?

In Boeing's OFT-2 mission, an Atlas V is the launch vehicle. The solid rocket booster burns out at T+ 1:35 minutes, but the boosters are jettisoned at T+ 2:40 minutes. Why are the boosters not ...
6 votes
1 answer
455 views

What limits pressure buildup in SRB's?

According to st. Robert's Law, propellant burn rates increase with pressure. When an SRB is ignited, propellant starts to burn, making the pressure rise in the combustion chamber. The flow through the ...
6 votes
1 answer
359 views

What is the time sequence for SRB burn-out and separation?

I understand that SRBs cannot be throttled or shut down, they need to "burn out". Since they are often used in pairs, I assume there is a statistical spread in the burn duration of the two ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it possible to propulsively land an SRB?

I am wondering if it is possible to propulsively land a solid rocket booster after it detaches from the core booster. I know you could use thrust termination ports to stop thrust, but it would drop ...
3 votes
2 answers
622 views

Is New Shepard an orbit-capable first stage? Could an (albeit small) 2nd stage with propulsion be put on top that could put a smallsat into orbit?

This answer to How is New Shepard the first suborbital booster to successfully perform a powered vertical soft landing? discusses a potential differentiation between Falcon 9's first successful ...
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was the first time a "re-used booster" was used to put a payload into orbit?

In the excitement about SpaceX's Falcon recovery and relaunch development program, it's often forgotten in articles like this one that reusable spacecraft were in regular use far back in the 20th ...
1 vote
1 answer
238 views

Why do the Long March 3B's strap-on boosters have fins? Is this common?

I've noticed that most large launch vehicles these days don't have fins at the bottom, stabilization is implemented in other ways. But when the Long March 3B has strap-on boosters, those seem to ...
8 votes
1 answer
953 views

Are side boosters sometimes angled even if they are symmetrically arranged?

When more than one side booster is added to a first stage to increase thrust and they are distributed uniformly around the core (as opposed to those shown in links below) thrust does not seem to need ...
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are these circular spots on these Ariane V SRB nozzles?

This Space Shuttle Almanac tweet says: Pics 1-4 of todays @Arianespace #ArianeV VA249 launch carrying the #EDRSC & #Intelsat39 comsats from Kourou and includes the cool (hot) image below. ...
3 votes
1 answer
254 views

What are these two little valve stem-like projections from the Northrop Grumman STAR 15G upper stage rocket motor? Why doesn't the STAR 20 have them?

NASA Spaceflight's Mars Ascent Vehicle from Northrop Grumman takes shape for Mars Sample Return mission says: For this, Northrop Grumman will provide a 3 meter tall, two-stage, solid propellant ...
4 votes
1 answer
105 views

Can kerolox or SRB soot particles grow too large too quickly; not accelerated in expanding exhaust leading to a loss of mass-specific impulse?

In this answer to Is methyl silane CH6Si ever considered as fuel in rocketry? I argue that there's no huge loss in mass-specific impulse (Isp) when producing sand (and by extension soot) in the ...
10 votes
1 answer
390 views

Source for Shuttle SRB segment history diagrams

I'm looking for a source for these ATK booster segment history images. Sadly absent user TildalWave posted a comment with a link to an article containing this one 3 1/2 years ago. I've finally ...
6 votes
0 answers
211 views

Why were the SRBs rolled out of the VAB without the rest of the Shuttle stack?

This answer shows the following photo of two Shuttle solid rocket boosters, mounted on the mobile launch platform without the external tank or orbiter, and driven outside the Vehicle Assembly Building....
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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
596 views

How were STS SRBs disassembled

What was the process for disassembling the SRBs following their recovery? Was it broken down to the field or factory seal level of segments, and how was it taken apart?
21 votes
2 answers
2k views

Challenger hypothetical - what if the SRB breach faced outboard?

Slightly different Challenger question - what could have happened if the SRB breach had faced outboard, away from any attachment fittings or the ET? Would the SRB have failed completely prior to ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Features seen on the Space Shuttle's solid booster; what does "LOADED" mean exactly?

The question Please explain the time reference shown in Shuttle launch engineering video links to the very cool video Ascent - Commemorating Shuttle. After about ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How much more cost efficent are SRB's over the main engine?

Why use SRBs instead of a simpler rocket design that dispenses with SRB's and instead has a bigger main engine? The Saturn V escaped earth's gravity just fine without boosters. Since then though SRBs ...
1 vote
0 answers
119 views

What is the limit to which we can scale up uniformly in all directions Space Shuttle SRB before it becomes unable to take off?

Let's say we like the Space Shuttle design so much, we want to use it as a reference for our new rocket. But we want to build rocket which will be capable of launching larger payload into Earth's ...
17 votes
1 answer
3k views

Was a method available to save the Challenger Crew?

In a previous thread, I asked the question of the likelihood of the STS stack surviving an early separation of the SRB using the SRB manual separation switch on panel C3: Could the SRB's have ...
6 votes
1 answer
738 views

Are the APUs on the SLS SRBs planned to be hydrazine powered?

I recently read that the Space Launch System core stage, which uses renamed / slightly reworked Space Shuttle Main Engines and therefore requires a hydraulic system to service said engines, will use ...
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Final results on Space Shuttle SRB reuse goal?

One of the stated goals of the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters (SRBs) was their re-usability and cost savings from such reuse. I know that many of them were reused, but in the end, how successful ...
4 votes
0 answers
281 views

Why were there painted black rings on the SRBs?

There were black rings on the STS-1 SRBs. There were even more on later flights. But there was a period without them at all. Why?
6 votes
2 answers
614 views

How do spherical SRB's compare to long skinny ones? What do their thrust curves look like?

Most SRBs are long and skinny, probably because most are used low in Earth's atmosphere where aerodynamic drag is large. But here are some very short SRBs, one seemingly spherical except for the ...
4 votes
0 answers
64 views

What's the story behind the GEM-63 delay?

The Wikipedia page on the GEM-63 says that the Atlas V will start using it "in July 2019." But the Atlas V page says that the switch from the AJ-60A will happen "in the near future." That the switch ...
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

How many Solid Rocket Boosters were there in the Space Shuttle program?

I was reading the wikipedia article about the SRBs, which were retrieved, refurbished, updated and re-used. I understand that if they were taken apart and pieces were replaced, that there was a 'new ...
47 votes
6 answers
10k views

Could the shuttle wait out the whole burn of SRBs on launchpad in case of a problem on launch?

Somewhere on this site I read that in NASA, the rocket leaves the launchpad (through release of explosive bolts) only after the engines have attained full power. Assuming in the scarce seconds ...