MTA Firing Event, 2022-09-10

by Dave Nordling, President, Reaction Research Society


The University of Southern California (USC) Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (RPL) conducted a series of six propellant sample burns for characterizing their latest mixture. I was the pyrotechnic operator in charge for that day. New member and former USC RPL student, Michael Rouleau, was my apprentice that day.

Careful installation of the grains.

Testing took place in the horizontal configuration on our repaired pad with the new 3/4” female pattern using a load cell and chamber pressure transmitters reading from the bulkhead in a modular nozzle can configuration.

USC RPL’s ”Kiwi” subscale propellant grain testing rig.

USC RPL has had several motor failures in recent times which has led this year’s team to try a better known and safer recipe. COVID-19 played a role in creating a knowledge gap. This year’s team hopes to reclaim a success when the full static fire motor is tested at the RRS MTA in a little more than a month.

One of six successful grain firings.

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