Re: Pegasus rocket status

John C. Broman, Jr. (
Wed, 26 Jun 1996 16:12:31 -0400

At 03:02 PM 6/26/96 -0500, Paul Maley wrote:
>Kurt just noted that day 155 is the last elset for 23106. Well, on that day 
>(June 3), the rocket blew up and there are many, many uncatalogued pieces of 

The JSC orbital debris team has reported that the HAPS stage (hydrazine aux.
prop. sys.) from the STEP 2 mission (Standard Pegasus, B-52 drop) has
exploded in low earth orbit (625 km) into approx. 150 pieces which are being
tracked in orbits ranging from 300 to 1600 km.  During the STEP 2 mission
(5/94) the HAPS failed to burn to depletion (275 sec. instead of 300 sec.)
leaving hydrazine and nitrogen in the tanks of the stage and delivering the
payload to a lower orbit than desired.  The explosion occurred sometime
around 6/3/96 and is under investigation.  No definite cause for the
explosion has been identified. 
John C. Broman, Jr.
Orbital Launch Services Project Office
Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 470