Re: Useless hypotheses

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Fri Dec 21 2001 - 18:13:54 MST

Mike Lorrey wrote:

> Ah, but they can. Are not solid fuel rocket motors used as upper stages
> for satellites released by the Space Shuttle in orbit?

Only seldom are solids used in upper stages. In addition to being
relatively crummy for specific impulse, it is difficult to ensure all
the exhaust products will re-enter. Solids are dirty: they leave
behind slag that we don't want to have in orbit. Even in a
suborbital application, if a solid motor is firing and something
goes wrong with the guidance system causing the back end to
flip around forward, a bunch of phlogiston and junk is sprayed
into orbit that could damage other satellites. spike

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