Accession Number : ADP005343

Title :   Technical Investigation of 11 January 1985 PERSHING II Motor Fire,

Corporate Author : ARMY MISSILE COMMAND REDSTONE ARSENAL AL

Personal Author(s) : Knaur,James A.

PDF Url : ADP005343

Report Date : AUG 1986

Pagination or Media Count : 9

Abstract : This paper describes the result of an accident investigation. The accident occurred near Heilbronn, Federal Republic of Germany, on January 11, 1985. A PERSHING II first stage motor burned as result of efforts to remove it from its shipping container and place it on an erector launcher (EL). Several possible causes of the motor ignition were considered during the course of the investigation. These were: crew error, incorrect procedures, sabotage, failure of mechanical part, electrical short circuits, propellant defects, failure of other components mounted in the motor, and electromagnetic effects (radio frequency radiation, lightning, and electrostatic discharge (ESD)). All of these possible causes except ESD were eliminated from further investigation efforts because they were an unlikely, highly unlikely or impossible cause of the accident. ESD was determined to be the only plausible explanation for the accidental motor burning.

Descriptors :   *BOOSTER ROCKET ENGINES, *SOLID PROPELLANT ROCKET ENGINES, *FIRES, IGNITION, ELECTROSTATIC CHARGE, ELECTRIC DISCHARGES, SOLID ROCKET PROPELLANTS, ACCIDENTS, SURFACE TO SURFACE MISSILES, SYMPOSIA

Subject Categories : Solid Propellant Rocket Engines
      Safety Engineering

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE