Return to Human Space Flight home page

Hold-Down Posts

Each solid rocket booster has four hold- down posts that fit into corresponding support posts on the mobile launcher platform. Hold- down bolts hold the SRB and launcher platform posts together. Each bolt has a nut at each end, but only the top nut is frangible. The top nut contains two NASA standard detonators, which are ignited at solid rocket motor ignition commands.

When the two NSDs are ignited at each hold-down, the hold-down bolt travels downward because of the release of tension in the bolt (pretensioned before launch), NSD gas pressure and gravity. The bolt is stopped by the stud deceleration stand, which contains sand. The SRB bolt is 28 inches long and is 3.5 inches in diameter. The frangible nut is captured in a blast container.

The solid rocket motor ignition commands are issued by the orbiter's computers through the master events controllers to the hold- down pyrotechnic initiator controllers on the mobile launcher platform. They provide the ignition to the hold- down NSDs. The launch processing system monitors the SRB hold- down PICs for low voltage during the last 16 seconds before launch. PIC low voltage will initiate a launch hold.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices