Postmortems

Accidents with hypergolics: NASA's catalogue

In the context of SpaceX’s recent anomaly in testing their new Crew Dragon space capsule, a commentator links to a comprehensive 2010 document by NASA, cataloguing spills, leaks, fires and explosions relating to (toxic) hypergolic fuels, in space and on the ground. 100 page pdf.
HYPERGOLIC PROPELLANTS: THE HANDLING HAZARDS AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM USE

In each case we learn the sequence of events, and some lessons to be learnt.

Several unintentional hypergolic fluid related spills, fires, and explosions from the Apollo Program, the Space Shuttle Program, the Titan Program, and a few others have occurred over the past several decades. Spill sites include the following government facilities: Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Johnson Space Center (JSC), White Sands Test Facility (WSTF), Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), Little Rock AFB, and McConnell AFB. Until now, the only method of capturing the lessons learned from these incidents has been “word of mouth” or by studying each individual incident report. Through studying several dozen of these incidents, certain root cause themes are apparent. Scrutinizing these themes could prove to be highly beneficial to future hypergolic system testing, checkout, and operational use.

Related, Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John Drury Clark has recently been reprinted.

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