Analysis of flow decay potential on Galileo


Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The risks posed to the NASA's Galileo spacecraft by the oxidizer flow decay during its extended mission to Jupiter is discussed. The Galileo spacecraft will use nitrogen tetroxide (NTO)/monomethyl hydrazine bipropellant system with one large engine thrust-rated at a nominal 400 N, and 12 smaller engines each thrust-rated at a nominal 10 N. These smaller thrusters, because of their small valve inlet filters and small injector ports, are especially vulnerable to clogging by iron nitrate precipitates formed by NTO-wetted stainless steel components. To quantify the corrosion rates and solubility levels which will be seen during the Galileo mission, corrosion and solubility testing experiments were performed with simulated Galileo materials, propellants, and environments. The results show the potential benefits of propellant sieving in terms of iron and water impurity reduction.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA, SAE, ASME, and ASEE 23rd Joint Propulsion Conference
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages17
StatePublished - Jul 1 1987
Externally publishedYes

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