Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hermes Solid Rocket Motor

I bought number of Thiokol publicity/advertising brochures on ebay a while ago. There are a lot of interesting photos including the one above that shows Harold W. Richey posing with the "milestone" Hermes rocket motor which was fired in December of 1951. In that firing the motor fired for 41.2 seconds and produced 17,172 lbs of thrust. Fourteen months later it went on to successfully power the RV-A-10 rocket from Cape Canaveral. The Hermes is credited with validating the concept of large solid fuel motors. There is also a series of photos that show the process of prepping and loading the shuttle SRM's that I'll post later.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

SStS Test Parts Finished

I finished the test parts that I was working on and Rick picked them up yesterday afternoon.  He and Paul were going attempt the first test this weekend.  I was scrambling to get the parts done in time for this weekend, the steel bulkhead took a bit more time than anticipated, but hopefully the parts serve their purpose well. 
Here I'm tapping the steel bulkhead:
I was starting the tap in the v-block on the drill press to get it started straight then laying it flat to get a good enough grip on it to turn the tap.  The whole process of tapping the bulkheads took longer than I was expecting, but when you're tapping or threading it's definitely best not to rush.

Here are the finished parts: