Accession Number : ADA338878

Title :   Theoretical Investigations of Peculiarities of the Upper Stages Breakup Caused by Explosions of Mixing Hypergolic Propellants

Descriptive Note : Final rept.

Corporate Author : MOSCOW STATE UNIV (USSR)

Personal Author(s) : Smirnov, Nickolay

PDF Url : ADA338878

Report Date : 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 159

Abstract : By now the explosions of the upper stages were supposed to give the most essential contribution to the space debris production. Thus, investigation of the breakup of the upper stages is of great importance for further development of space contamination models. It was only in 1981 when Don Kessler, NASA-JSC was able to correlate space debris from satellite breakups recorded by NORAD/ADCOM to upper stages of rocket carriers left on orbit after completion of their mission 1. Since 1969 up to 1981, ten cases of breakup of Delta second stages left in orbit after mission took place 2. The duration of stay of the vehicles in orbit before the explosion varied from 1 day up to 5 years. One of the most probable potential causes of orbital breakups is fuel and oxidizer tanks overpressurization. Due to gradual heating of components oxidizer tank pressure would be higher than fuel tank pressure and would therefore be more critical. After oxidizer tank pressure reached the predicted burst pressure for the common bulkhead the fracture of the common bulkhead would allow mixing of the residual propellants that would most probably result in an explosion.

Descriptors :   *SPACECRAFT, *EXPLOSIONS, *HYPERGOLIC ROCKET PROPELLANTS, ORBITS, PRODUCTION, DEBRIS, SPACE ENVIRONMENTS, PROBABILITY, OVERPRESSURE, RUPTURE, PROPELLANTS, FUELS, RESIDUALS, ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES, PRESSURE, OXIDIZERS, RUSSIA, FUEL TANKS, MIXING, CONTAMINATION, BULKHEADS.

Subject Categories : Rocket Propellants
      Astronautics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE