re: Cosmos launcher and accerlerations

John C. Broman, Jr. (
Mon, 2 Dec 1996 20:33:03 -0500

>If this is true, micrometeorites could puncture the tank very easily,
>because there is only one wall to puncture and it is very thin, so
>outgassing of the remaining fuel could in turn explane why we observe so
>many flash period accelerations of those rockets.

One more thing.  The Centaur upperstage (as well as Delta's second stage)
both perform collision avoidance and propellant depletion burns after
payload sep.  Of course, sometimes things go wrong, such as an old Pegasus
hydrazine upperstage (HAPS) which prematurely shut down, leaving fuel in
it's tank.  Years later, there are dozens of Seesaters tracking multiple
pieces of the upperstage now!
John C. Broman, Jr.
X-34 Lead Avionics Engineer
Orbital Sciences Corporation (home) (work)