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Re: AO40: status



On Sat, 6 Jan 2001, Phil Karn wrote:

> I don't think there are any large hollow sealed compartments inside
> AO-40 (except for the fuel tanks, of course), as the air inside must
> be free to vent quickly during launch.

Correct.  But its just a question of rates.  If the leak rate is high
enough then there will be a momentary overpressure that could split a seam
along a panel... but the more I think about it... an over pressure is not
needed...

It could be a very slow leak AND most of the natural openings in the
spacecraft are evenly distributed so there is no net torque.  But any gas
leak inside must get to the outside via all these natural cracks and seams
and holes.  And the slightest imbalance in the locations of these holes
will induce a torque.  A small torque over a long time can easily spin up
AO40...

Looking at the frame and with a more or less solid top and bottom, it
seems like the largest number of "seams" are along the outside periphery
where leaking gas (or vaporized fuel or anything) would give the needed
torque..  even if there was never enough to cause a split.... any
imbalance in these natural leaks along the seams would still induce a
torque...

de WB4APR, bob


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