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NASA OIG Safety Report 3/27/13

NASA OIG Safety Report 3/27/13

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Published by Casey Michel
NASA OIG Safety Report 3/27/13
NASA OIG Safety Report 3/27/13

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Published by: Casey Michel on Jun 06, 2013
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10/23/2013

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M
ARCH
27,
 
2013A
UDIT
R
EPORT
 R
EPORT
N
O
.
 
IG-13-013 (A
SSIGNMENT
N
O
.
 
A-12-017-00)O
FFICE OF
A
UDITS
 
R
EVIEW OF
NASA’ 
S
E
XPLOSIVES
S
AFETY
P
ROGRAM
 
O
FFICE OF
I
NSPECTOR
G
ENERAL
 
National Aeronautics andSpace Administration
 
 
R
EPORT
N
O
.
 
IG-13-013
Final report released by:Paul K. MartinInspector General
Acronyms
CFR Code of Federal RegulationsDDESB Department of Defense Explosive Safety BoardDOT Department of TransportationESO Explosive Safety Officer FBI Federal Bureau of InvestigationGAO Government Accountability OfficeIFO Institutional/Facility/Operational NASA-STD NASA Standard NPR NASA Procedural RequirementsOSHA Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationOIG Office of Inspector GeneralTNT TrinitrotolueneUDMH DimethylhydrazineUSDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
 
M
ARCH
27,
 
2013
R
EPORT
N
O
.
 
IG-13-013
O
VERVIEW
 
R
EVIEW OF
NASA’ 
S
E
XPLOSIVES
S
AFETY
P
ROGRAM
 
The Issue
 NASA Centers and Facilities routinely procure, store, transport, and handle explosivematerials, pyrotechnics, and propellants (known as energetic materials) in support of Agency programs and projects. Energetic materials consist of any chemical compound or mixture that detonates or deflagrates when subjected to heat, impact, friction, or electricalinitiation (see Figure 1).
1
Improperly transporting, storing, or handling these extremelyhazardous materials can have catastrophic consequences, including loss of life, seriousinjury, damage to facilities and equipment, damage to the environment, and loss of mission capabilities.
Figure 1.
Detonation testing of explosive materials at
 
White Sands Test Facility
Source: NASA
For example, in July 2007 Scaled Composites, LLC, the prime contractor for Virgin
Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo
, experienced an explosive mishap that killed three employees,seriously injured three others, and delayed development of a new hybrid rocket engine.The exact cause of the accident was never determined; however, Scaled Composites
1
Detonation is a violent chemical reaction resulting in heat and a wave of pressure through the reactedmaterial at supersonic speeds. Deflagration is a violent chemical reaction resulting in a wall of flame thattravels at subsonic speeds away from its source of ignition.

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