View Full Version : Shuttle SRB Marking Schemes?

2003-May-11, 03:46 AM
This is my first thread, though I've lurked around quite a bit.

I've been in the process of building a series of space shuttle models. Since I've been dedicated to getting them right, I've had to delve into the KSC and JSC photo albums, and basically whatever photos I could find of the shuttles, from STS-1 to present. I've built two full shuttle stacks so far (STS-1 and 51-L,) and while I hadn't given it much thought before, I've wondered about the markings on the SRBs. I e-mailed Thiokol about these over a week ago, though I doubt I'll get a response.

From what i've been able to tell, there are three major schemes that have been used, based on the frustum/forward segments. The first one, used up to 41-D, was unmarked. From Discovery's maiden flight to some time around STS-61, there were some strange, glyph-like black markings on the frustums. Here's an example. (http://lmms.external.lmco.com/photos/civil_space/hubble_space_tele_hst/hst_launch_hi.jpg)

Following ~STS-61, the glyphs have been removed, but the black band around the left-hand motor is still present.

I've also noticed four black rectangles painted on the SRBs prior to 51-D. I'm not certain what these were for, either.

In addition to this, there are also several "dots" on the frustum. I believe there are six per SRB, but I do not know their function. My assumption has been they may have had something to do with their recovery.

Thanks for any help.


2003-May-11, 04:19 AM
If you're feeling really anal, you can order the book at the bottom of this page. (http://www.boggsspace.com/authormr.asp) Looks as if it would tell you all you need to know and then some.

You might also find this discussion (http://www.finescale.com/fsm/community/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=421&whichpage=1) of interest.