Service Propulsion System Fuel Tanks
During an acceptance test of the Apollo spacecraft 101 service module prior to delivery, an SPS fuel pressure vessel (SN054) (titanium Ti-6Al-4V, approximately 1.2 m (4 ft) in diam and 3 m (10 ft) long) containing methanol developed cracks adjacent to the welds. The test was stopped. This acceptance test had been run 38 times on similar pressure vessels without problems. The methanol was a safe-fluid replacement for the storable hypergolic fuels (blend of 50% hydrazine and 50% unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine). Investigation (visual inspection and 65X images) showed similarities to stress-corrosion resulting from contamination during misprocessing of the vessels....
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