ALTITUDE TESTING OF HERCULES POWDER COMPANY BE-3 ROCKET MOTORS. PHASE II. QUALIFICATION AND ACCEPTANCE TESTING
ARNOLD ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT CENTER ARNOLD AFB TN
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Identifiers Ranger. Eight BE-3 solid-propellant rocket motors designed for application as a retrorocket for the lunar impact capsule of the Ranger series of spacecraft were tested at pressure altitudes in excess of 100, 000 ft to determine ignition reliability and motor performance and to evaluate the erosion resistance of the inert components of the motors. Seven motors were fired successfully. Vacuum total impulse varied from 52,329 to 52,736 lbf-sec. Specific impulse based on the vacuum total impulse and the manufacturers stated propellant weight varied from 275.1 to 276.0 lbf-seclbm. The average ignition lag time was 8 millisec. A nozzle modification, consisting of an Al stiffening ring bonded to the nozzle exit cone, was used on two firings to strengthen the nozzle to prevent deterioration and was successful for the one firing during which the ring stayed in place.
- Rocket Engines
- Unmanned Spacecraft