Rocket Separation Technology 05-31-2005 17:38

In order to send large aircraft into space or orbit, small booster rockets are attached. These small boosters are equipped with a forebody to protect the load. When their work is finished, the boosters and forebody become unwanted weight. In order to make full use of rockets鈥 load capacity, experts install separation mechanisms onto the booster including a stage separation mechanism, forebody separation, and satellite-rocket separation mechanism. They are controlled by the control system of rockets.

The separation of large boosters uses direct staging. Each booster is connected to the rocket鈥檚 core through a bar mechanism in the front joint side and the round head mechanism in the back joint side. When the engine of the booster stops working, the connection bolt and separation nut will be unlocked separately. The small separation rockets that are bound to the boosters are ignited and separate the boosters from the core. The boosters fall down and separation is complete.

Stage separation is heat separation. When the engine of a lower stage rocket stops working according to the set procedure, upper stage rocket will start its engine. When the propulsion reaches a certain point, the control system will issue orders and explode the bolt that connects the two-stage rockets. The two-stage rockets separate under the action of high-speed fuel gas spurted by the engine of the upper stage rocket.

1. Forebody separation is achieved by means of unlocking, turning, and separating. When the forebody is cast, the explosive bolts that connect with the two halves of the forebody explode first. The two halves of the forebody rotate around the front side of the lower stage rocket. When rocket rises as its accelerates, the forebody is separated from the rocket and falls down.

Satellite-rocket separation is achieved when the belt unlocks. When the control system calls for separation, the pollution-free explosive bolt on the belt that connects satellite and useful load stand, explodes. Then the unlocked belt is pulled back by the spring on the stand and the satellite is separated and the spring pushes rocket upward.

Let鈥檚 take a further look at the separation of rockets through the flight route of rockets. When a rocket flies for 120 seconds, the escape tower on the top of the rocket is separated. When the rocket flies for 140 seconds, the boosters separate from the rocket. When it flies for 160 seconds, the first stage rocket is separated when high-speed fuel is ejected by the second stage engine. When it flies for 200 seconds, the explosive bolt on the forebody explodes and forebody is separated. When it flies for 583 seconds, the explosive bolt explodes, the satellite and rocket are finally separated.

From rocket separation technology, we know rocket technology is precise and sophisticated. An error in any link may cause the failure of a launch. In order to ensure the successful separation of rockets and avoid accidents, experts repeatedly carry out ground experiments.

With the development of space technology in China, more and more Long March rockets with higher reliability and load capacity are being built and will make great contributions to China鈥檚 space history.

Editor:Hu Hang

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