Re: Useless hypotheses

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sat Dec 22 2001 - 09:03:24 MST

Spike Jones wrote:
> 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.

What? I have very often seen video of satellites headed for geosynch
being released, spinning, by the space shuttle, with the unmistakable
gourd shaped solid fuel upper stage on it.

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