National Aeronautics and Space Administration
f r a n g i b l e n u t c r o s s o v e r s y s t e m
Frangible Nut Crossover System
The space shuttle assembly, consisting o theexternal tank, twin solid rocket boosters (SRBs)and orbiter, is attached to the mobile launchplatorm (MLP) by the hold-down post systemat eight locations at the base o the solid rocketboosters. The hold-down post system is a rela-tively simple and unctional design. Prestressedstuds are held in place at the base by standardnuts and at the top with rangible nuts. At launch, two pyrotechnic, or explosive, devices“break” a rangible nut into two halves, allowingthe stud, which is under high tension, to eject intothe hold-down post system and release the spaceshuttle rom the MLP. A number o actors workto slow or interrupt the stud’s ejection velocity. Atlito, a stud not ejected prior to the rst spaceshuttle movement, which occurs approximately200—250 milliseconds ater ignition, becomesbound and/or pinched and results in a hang-up.During the space shuttle program, 25 stud hang-ups have randomly occurred on 23 launches.Multiple hang-ups on a single mission have onlyoccurred twice, on STS-2, which few in November1981, and STS-92, which few in October 2000.Each had two hang-ups. Concerns have beenraised that our or more hang-ups on a missioncould exceed the space shuttle load-carryingcapability. During the space shuttle Returnto Flight, an investigation was conducted todetermine the cause o stud hang-ups. Based onthe ndings o this investigation, a decision wasmade to redesign the rangible nut to alleviatethe leading contributing actor to stud hang-ups.
SRB At Skirt
Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster
SRB Hold-down Post Assembly