In February 2000 several AHPRA members took a field trip to see a static firing of a Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster, SRB, at the Thiokol facility in Utah. This included a tour of the facility, casting, X-ray, and case prep areas.  Unfortunately no pictures could be taken in the buildings. Weather was in the low 30's with snow.

Rocket Garden

Outside the main buildings is the rocket garden with examples of motors and systems.

This is one section of the SRB. All the sections are interchangeable. The Section are held together with many dowel pins and  any section will fit any other. This is why it is so expensive.

Minute Man grain cast with inert propellant.

Hawk motor.

Ducted rocket.


SRB Firing

We were allowed to look up close at the motor in the test stand until 30 minutes before the firing.  It had been in a conditioning box which is mounted on railroad tracks. The box is removed at the last minute. Motor pushes against a thrust block containing 7000 cubic yards of concrete.

We were approximately 3/4 mile away, motor internal temperature was 33 F.  The new seal design allows for a lower temp firing than the ones on the pr-Challenger motors. During the burn the length of the flame and it's direction could be seen as thrust level and vector changed. At the end of the burn a long probe swings into the motor and purges the tube with carbon dioxide to extinguish any burning insulation.

Motor plume impinges on the hillside and it has dug a large trench.



Launches Meetings BALLS Bowling Ball Loft  XRAA Pictures

Contact AHPRA Links Join AHPRA