1984-10-01

STAR MOTORS IN SPACE: The Events Following the Westar VI and Palapa B2 Flights 841621

The unsatisfactory performance of two PAM-D stages in February 1984 during the planned satellite flights from the Space Shuttle to geosynchronous transfer orbit significantly affected the satellite and launch vehicle industry. The failures resulted in a redefinition of acceptable risk by the commercial industry and a recognition that aerospace manufacturers, the Government, and the commercial community must work more closely to assure the long-term success of space as a business arena.In the months that followed, attention was focused on the conduct of the failure investigation. Simultaneously, however, satellite launches continued using carbon-carbon nozzles, and several design and test programs to qualify conservative ablative nozzles were initiated. These parallel efforts will be addressed in this paper.

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