Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shuttle SRB


Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 589,670/86,183 kg. Thrust 11,520.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 269 seconds. Original configuration.

Cost $ : 23.200 million.

AKA: Solid Rocket Booster.
Status: Study 1989.
Gross mass: 589,670 kg (1,299,990 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 86,183 kg (190,000 lb).
Height: 38.47 m (126.21 ft).
Diameter: 3.71 m (12.17 ft).
Span: 5.10 m (16.70 ft).
Thrust: 11,520.00 kN (2,589,799 lbf).
Specific impulse: 269 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 237 s.
Burn time: 124 s.
Number: 232 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • SRB Thiokol solid rocket engine. 11,520 kN. Isp=269s. Segmented solid rocket boosters for the compromised space shuttle design. Field joint design led to Challenger shuttle disaster. Production 1981-1985, after which superseded by RSRM's. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • IHLLV American orbital launch vehicle. Same concept as Shuttle C. Shuttle orbiter replaced by recoverable pod with shuttle main engines and payload cannister. Quick way for US to obtain heavy payload capability and reduce shuttle cost per kg to orbit by 3 X. More...
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Barbarian MDD American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Proposed launch vehicle for large SDI 'Star Wars' payloads. Expected to cost $ 400-500 million, the Barbarian could place the Zenith-Star chemical laser into low earth orbit. It would consist of 3 Shuttle SRM's, attached around a ring of six Delta RS-27 first stage boosters, which in turn clustered around a single Delta first stage booster that was the last stage of the launch vehicle. More...
  • Shuttle C American orbital launch vehicle. NASA Marshall design for a cargo version of the shuttle system. The shuttle orbiter would be replaced by an unmanned recoverable main engine pod. The same concept was studied earlier as the Interim Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (IHLLV) and as the Class I Shuttle Derived Vehicle (SDV). The Phase I two-SSME configuration would have a payload of 45,000 kg to low earth orbit. Design carried to an advanced phase in 1987-1990, but then abandoned when it was found the concept had no cost advantage over existing expenable launch vehicles. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Solid Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. More...

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