Oxidizer

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Feb 21 2007 - 10:51:44 EST

  • Next message: Leo Barhorst: "Breeze-M fragmentation"

    As far as I can determine the Breeze-M used NTO and UDMH.
    I guess NTO is Nitrogen Tetroxide and UDMH is of course
    Unsymetrical Dimethyly hydrazine if my chemistry of 40 odd
    years ago is any good.  Apparently the failure of this particular
    mission - Arabsat - was a foreign particle which blocked the
    oxidiser booster hydraulic pump. Recalling my amateur rocketry
    days this propellant combination is hypergolic - ie they ignite
    spontanteously so I guess what happened here is that the booster
    started leaking one of the propellants  which came into contact
    with the other one so "wham".  I think nitrogen tetroxide is also
    highly corrosive. I actually tried to make it in the University
    laboratory - extremely stupid because the fumes attack lungs
    etc- obviously my attempt failed - a similar experience when
    I tried to make nitro-glycerine -- just as well I changed profession
    from chemist to astronomer!
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
    .
    
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