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Static Firing Test of USERS_RBM

The Users_RBM, a users’ project scheduled for launch with the H-IIA rocket, is a small solid rocket motor that will be used for orbit maneuvers at reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. In order to accurately assess its propulsion performance, the test motor this time was designed and manufactured in exactly the same way as the actual motor, that is, this is the “nest egg” motor beyond repair. A vacuum and spin state, which the actual motor under firing usually produces, was simulated for this static firing test. Although this test was first scheduled at Noshiro Testing Center, due to the full schedule there, the test site was changed to a firing facility of IHI Aero Space in Taketoyo-cho, Aichi. The picture shows a stand (small vacuum chamber) with a test motor. In order to conduct a vacuum and spin firing test here, we moved a small vacuum chamber and related equipment from ISAS Akiruno Firing Test Facility, and repaired and strengthened support systems such as a spin stand, cooling water system, vacuum pumping system and crane system. Moreover, we made power, measuring and data systems redundant and reinforced indirect support systems such as command telephones and indoor monitor systems. Although the motor was small, the support systems were perfect. We obtained great motor performance, which we owe to the concerted efforts and commitment of experiment group members.

July 10, 2002