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Questions tagged [srb]

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

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20 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
IT Bear's user avatar
  • 1,199
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
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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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it possible for the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) to hit the Space Shuttle after jettison?

We all know that the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) were the pair of large solid rockets used by the United States' NASA Space Shuttle during the first two minutes of its powered flight. ...
zundi's user avatar
  • 243
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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. ...
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
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 ...
s-m-e's user avatar
  • 6,461
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Have SRBs or SSMEs ever launched without a space shuttle?

It seems to me that the April 12, 1981 launch of Columbia (STS-1) was the manned spaceflight with the most untested hardware of any manned space launch. Even the Vostok and Mercury launch systems had ...
dotancohen's user avatar
  • 6,784
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

Could the shuttle's SRB alone reach orbit?

If one equipped the SRB like the ones used with the Shuttles with minimal attitude control systems and launched it as a standalone rocket with no payload - what speed would it reach? Would it be ...
SF.'s user avatar
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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
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 ...
John Bode's user avatar
  • 2,300
18 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why didn't the SRBs of the Space Shuttle use carbon instead of aluminium?

In the Solid Rocket Boosters of the Space Shuttle, the following reaction happened: $\mathrm{NH_4ClO_4 + Al \rightarrow H_2O + N_2 + Al_2O_3 + AlCl_3}$ Using carbon instead aluminium, we would have ...
peterh's user avatar
  • 3,298
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 ...
Challenger Truth's user avatar
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 ...
Mikey's user avatar
  • 2,941
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are they doing to this rocket following its test fire?

Watching video of today's test of Northrop Grumman's OmegA first stage SRB after the test is over and the flames have died down a bit, it looks like they are sticking something into the back end of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Could the Shuttle boosters crash into each other?

I watched a few videos "from the boosters" of their suborbital flight with the Shuttle, and what I noticed is that after the boosters were jettisoned there was a phase of flight that was quite chaotic ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55.1k
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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why were Solid Rockets chosen for the SLS

The SLS and the STS seem to be the only rockets utilizing SRBs... Why did they choose to go with them over LH/LOX or Kerosene/LOX? Wouldn't it also be easier to upgrade those rockets in the future?
Furphy's user avatar
  • 101
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
624 views

Failure modes of segmented solid rocket boosters

The Rogers Commission Report (PDF, page 73) describes the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters as [...] a faulty design unacceptably sensitive to a number of factors. These factors were the ...
Jens's user avatar
  • 1,696
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 ...
Challenger Truth's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
178 views

Need help understanding staging shown in infographic of Titan launch of Hexagon satellites

The NPR News item I Spy, Via Spy Satellite: Melting Himalayan Glaciers discusses use of declassified historical satellite images that include glaciers, and link to the newly published and Open Access ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
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30 votes
3 answers
6k views

Did the Challenger SRBs fail due to design for reuse?

All that I know about the Challenger tragedy was that some o-rings failed in the reusable solid rocket boosters (SRBs) due to the low temperatures that day. I'm curious if such an accident would have ...
tau's user avatar
  • 403
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 ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
  • 3,255
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why didn't the space shuttle SRBs have wings and tires?

Why didn't the space shuttle solid rocket boosters have wings and tires to land the same way the orbiter lands? I don't think they haven't thought of that so there must be something that led them not ...
ALz's user avatar
  • 143
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Documented economics of STS Solid Rocket Booster reuse?

I often see the claim that the Shuttle SRBs cost as much to recover & refurb as it would to build a new one. I've probably even parroted this claim myself. But, are there any actual studies or ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
739 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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
2 answers
930 views

Do some solid rockets burn faster at the bottom? What's an extreme case?

Discussion in comments below this answer relate to how much solid rockets or SRBs burn bottom-to-top versus radially outward. I am sure I've seen a diagram somewhere showing that different designs ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
1 answer
237 views

Was the Titan SRM thrust vs time curve engineered to allow for acceleration switches to initiate staging sequence events?

This answer describes the timing between the Titan III Stage 0 (SRM's) and Stage 1 events. The Titan first stage ignited just prior to SRM separation: Titan Stage I ignition occurs at approximately ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k