"Captive-Fired Testing of Solid Rocket Motors"

by Hercules Powder, Aerojet-General, Thiokol, Rocketdyne, Lockheed Propulsion, United Technology, and NASA scientists and engineers

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Captive-Fired Testing of Solid Rocket Motors

by Hercules Powder, Aerojet-General, Thiokol, Rocketdyne, Lockheed Propulsion, United Technology, and NASA scientists and engineers


Heads up, rocket scientists!  Here's a "bible" about static testing your rocket engines.  NASA's Lewis Research Center has teamed up with the world's leading propulsion contractors to publish this incredible encyclopedic work.  We think it's the single best book of its kind.

If you are serious about getting the most information from your static tests, you need this reference handbook.  It's the official NASA solid propellant motor static test guide.  It presents state-of-the-art information and the recommended practices for accurate, reproducible test procedures for motors of all sizes.

Included are static test stand design criteria, and explanations of how to correctly evaluate solid propellant and motor performance.  You'll get an in-depth education about these subjects, and more:

  • Measuring thrust:
    • Dynamic thrust loads
    • Motor-attitude loads
    • Spin and centrifuge loads
  • Chamber and igniter pressure:
    • Static and dynamic pressure loads
    • Attachment loads
    • Thermal loads
  • Preventing nozzle flow separation:
    • Pressure matching
    • Pressure variations
  • Spin and centrifuge testing:
    • Provisions for increased chamber pressure
    • Provisions for increased thrust
    • Provisions for increased char and erosion
There are chapters devoted to:
  • Counteracting combustion residue
  • Provisions for throat deposition
  • Counteracting external heating and cooling
    • Protection from plume radiant heat
    • Protection from plume blowback
    • Protection from convective heating
    • Protection from environmental temperatures
  • Measuring ballistically related and other phenomena
Equipment and procedures for monitoring motor phenomena during testing are also explained in detail:
  • Thrust:
    • Range and capacity
    • Dynamic response
    • Test stand alignment and calibration
    • Test stand transverse vibration
    • Motor growth
    • Motor weight change
    • Motor and stand balance
    • Protection from environmental temperatures
    • Test stand restraints
  • Pressure:
    • Range and capacity
    • Dynamic response
    • Protection from external and internal heat
    • Prevention of plugging
    • Detection of pressure oscillations
  • Temperature and heat flux:
    • Range and capacity
    • Response time
    • Location and placement
    • Reduction of thermal disturbance
    • Protection from radiant heat, char, and erosion
  • Strain, deflection, and elongation:
    • Range, capacity, location, and alignment
    • Attachment and placement
    • Calibration
    • Protection from thermal environment
    • Temperature compensation
  • Shock and vibration:
    • Range and capacity
    • Frequency response
    • Critical locations
    • Directional placement
    • Attachment
    • Calibration
    • Protection from thermal environment
This comprehensive and complete handbook represents the best experience of more than 35 years of investigations by the world's largest propulsion contractors.  Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent obtaining this critical yet hard-to-find information.  It’s thick, heavy, and packed with accurate information for the professional (and “amateur”) rocket scientist, engineer, technician, and experimenter.

There are more than 30 detailed figures and illustrations, plus six pages of technical references (81 different studies are listed) for additional research  ... and MUCH more not mentioned here!

Typical illustrations from the book (smaller than actual size)


Typical detailed engineering drawing (centrifuge-test stand)


Typical detailed engineering drawing


Typical detailed test stand design layout illustration (altitude cell)


Typical explanation of pressure transducer installation


Typical thermocouple installation illustration


Six-component thrust stand installation illustration


Thrust stand anchorages illustration

The volume is especially useful for “amateur” rocket builders -- with an abundance of data, esoteric information, and once-secret lore from the world's foremost rocket builders: Aerojet, Thiokol, Hercules, UTC, Rocketdyne, and NASA.  What better place for accurate, detailed, and comprehensive information?

Very hard to find and now out-of-print, this new limited edition has been republished by the Rocket Science Institute.  It's printed with a high-resolution laser printer (not photocopied) on high-quality, bright-white, acid-free paper for years of reference use.  104 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size. 

ISBN 1-878628-23-2.     $22.95

Priority Mail Postage US $3.85            Global Priority Mail (Canada / Mexico) US$7.00          Global Priority Mail International US$9.00.

For details about ordering your copy, click here.

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Our books may be purchased direct by e-mail or postal order, or through our regular auctions on eBay and Rocketry Online.

We ship to anywhere in the world!  You pay only actual postal costs.

For details about how to order a book, click here.

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The Rocket Science Institute is a non-profit scientific and educational foundation in support of "amateur" experimental rocket science, engineering, and technology.

Rocket Science Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 1253, Carmel Valley CA 93924 USA     •     e-mail: books@rocketsciencebooks.com

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