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  #1  
Old 02-15-2019, 04:20 PM
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Default Apollo SM RCS units.

Does anybody have a true color photo or diagram of the RCS nozzle quads on the Apollo Service Module? I’m pretty sure they’re not suppose to be just plain white.

Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:50 PM
BARGeezer BARGeezer is offline
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Looks like it's all silver (Apollo 15).
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:08 PM
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All of the RCS motors were test fired after manufacture. I took this picture at NARCON last year in Houston. They are sort of goldish and silver. One recommendation that I heard was a burnt platinum. I would not go straight white or silver.

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Old 02-15-2019, 06:53 PM
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Chas beat me to it, with a better picture than the one I would have put up (but taken of the same vehicle - the full Saturn V that is on display at Space Center Houston). The nozzles look to me as if they are either titanium or stainless steel discolored by heat. Based on Chas' picture I am leaning toward the latter.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:15 PM
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The ones I have photographed at KSC and NASM (in D.C.) have had silver quad 'boxes' like this one (my photos are not immedialtely accessable).

As can be seen, there is printing on the top of the box, which I forget the exact nature but seems to deal with quad firing order or something similar.

Here's a link to the photo: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...lo_RCS_quad.jpg


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Old 02-22-2019, 05:11 PM
Neal Miller Neal Miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas Russell
All of the RCS motors were test fired after manufacture. I took this picture at NARCON last year in Houston. They are sort of goldish and silver. One recommendation that I heard was a burnt platinum. I would not go straight white or silver.

Chas

the nozzles look like they are constructed of a Cadmium and Nickel Alloy. Cadmium gives off that Yellow / pink hue. my guess would be that these motors are probable Hypergolic.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:57 PM
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Those thruster nozzles are related to our hobby. Back in the mid to late 90's, some friends down in Huntsville decided to do an amateur high altitude project. It was a rockoon (balloon launched rocket). My buddy Jim built the motor hardware and we cast a few propellant grains for the hybrid. However, they wanted it to be a "dirt rocket". I.E. use tar for the propellant grain. Jim's grains were more potent, but the tar was just something they wanted to use because somebody said it wouldn't work. We did test firings at Tim Pickens' (eventual designer of Spaceship One motor) parents' land. The rocket was successfully tested via a ground launch in Manchester, TN that used every bit of the 15k waiver. The balloon was eventually launched off a barge in the Gulf and the rocket made a successful flight, but I don't recall the altitude. It was in Guinness as the highest amateur flight for a few years.

Now to relate it to the space program's reaction control thrusters. A lot of old hardware from NASA ended up in a couple of junkyards in Huntsville. Tim found some of them and used an expansion bell from one to make a mold for the dirt rocket's high altitude motor. The more I think about it, I'm pretty sure it was from Surveyor instead of Apollo, but it's still cool as heck. Maybe Tim, Dan or one of the old crew is lurking and can remember it better than me.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Those thruster nozzles are related to our hobby. Back in the mid to late 90's, some friends down in Huntsville decided to do an amateur high altitude project. It was a rockoon (balloon launched rocket). My buddy Jim built the motor hardware and we cast a few propellant grains for the hybrid. However, they wanted it to be a "dirt rocket". I.E. use tar for the propellant grain. Jim's grains were more potent, but the tar was just something they wanted to use because somebody said it wouldn't work. We did test firings at Tim Pickens' (eventual designer of Spaceship One motor) parents' land. The rocket was successfully tested via a ground launch in Manchester, TN that used every bit of the 15k waiver. The balloon was eventually launched off a barge in the Gulf and the rocket made a successful flight, but I don't recall the altitude. It was in Guinness as the highest amateur flight for a few years.

Now to relate it to the space program's reaction control thrusters. A lot of old hardware from NASA ended up in a couple of junkyards in Huntsville. Tim found some of them and used an expansion bell from one to make a mold for the dirt rocket's high altitude motor. The more I think about it, I'm pretty sure it was from Surveyor instead of Apollo, but it's still cool as heck. Maybe Tim, Dan or one of the old crew is lurking and can remember it better than me.
Wow--talk about melding (or molding, in this case) past and present! Those Surveyor verniers (three per lander) stabilized the spacecraft while the big, spherical STAR-37 solid motor (a derivative of which served as the Thor-Burner II and Thor-Burner IIA second stage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor-Burner ) did the "heavy lowering," then--after the spent STAR-37 was jettisoned at about 6 miles up and 250 miles per hour--braked the lander to 0 mph about 13 feet above the surface, then shut down. The 13' free-fall was equivalent to just a 2' one on Earth, whose impact the landing gear shock absorbers and crush-able footpads (which were never compacted, to my knowledge) easily absorbed. Also:

The World War II-era Private A and/or Private F used asphalt-fueled composite solid propellant. It worked well, but got very soft at tropical/desert temperatures and cracked at very cold temperatures; tar, I imagine, is more physically stable over such a temperature range.
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2019, 07:26 PM
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Hey Jeff!

Yeah, basically the quad "boxes" are white, and the nozzles are sort of a "gunmetal" color...
Actually, "gunmetal" isn't quite right... they sorta have a slightly "gold" color to them, or "brass" color maybe. I got curious in the middle of digging these up and searched for it and found the Apollo operations handbook on PDF and here's what it actually says about the thruster quad construction materials...

"Combustion chamber- The combustion chamber is constructed of unalloyed molybdenum which is coated with molybdenum disilicide to prevent oxidation of the base metal. Cooling of the chamber is by radiation and film cooling.

Nozzle extension- The nozzle extension is attached to the chamber with a waspalloy nut. The nozzle extension is machined from a cobalt base alloy (stainless steel). The stiffener rings are machined."

Here's some pics of the CSM display at Kennedy Space Center, below the Saturn V, and of the Saturn V itself.

I'll see what I have regarding the CSM on the Saturn V in Huntsville and of course the one here in Houston as well...

Later! OL J R
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2019, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Hey Jeff!

Yeah, basically the quad "boxes" are white

Later! OL J R



Take a look at the photo link in my prior message and a second look at your photos (I have similar photos of those same RCS quads at KSC myself).

The quad *boxes* themselves are silver...that 'top of the box' white you see is the 'printing' I mentioned above. I think it might actually be a label applied to the top of the quad box.


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