Nike Launch Procedure

Two Stage Flight


Pre-Flight Operations T-72 Hours

1.                  Verify resistance of all “DaveyFire” electric matches.

a)                 1.6 ohms nominal

b)                 Igniters

i)                    Primary sustainer igniter (two each)

ii)                  Backup sustainer igniter (two each)

iii)                Booster motor igniters (three per engine)

iv)                Outboard motor igniters (one per engine)

c)                  Ejection Matches

i)                    Primary drogue

ii)                  Backup drogue

iii)                Primary Main charge

iv)                Backup Main charge

v)                  R/C Controlled Main charge

i)                    R/C Controlled Drogue charge

vi)                Primary booster chute

vii)              Backup booster chute

viii)            Primary & backup separation charge


2.                  Dip igniters

i)                    Primary sustainer igniter (two each)

ii)                  Backup sustainer igniter (two each)

iii)                Booster motor igniters (three per engine)


3.                  Make ejection canisters

a)                 Primary drogue X.X grams

b)                 Backup drogue X.X grams

c)                  Primary Main charge 4.5 grams each

d)                 Backup Main charge 5.5 grams each

e)                 R/C Controlled Main charge 6.0 grams

f)                    R/C Controlled Drogue charge X.X grams

g)                 Primary booster chute 2.5 grams

h)                  Backup booster chute 3.0 grams

i)                    Primary booster separation charge 1.0 grams

j)                    Backup booster separation charge 1.5 grams


4.                  Roll and pack chutes into deployment bags.

i)                    Drogue chute

ii)                  Main chute

iii)                Booster chute


5.                  Z-fold and tape all shock cords

i)                    Drogue cord

ii)                  Main cord

iii)                Booster cord



Launch Preparations T-3 Hours (in the safe area)

6.                  Electronics Prep

a)                 Warm batteries to operating temperature

b)                 Load test all batteries

c)                  Install batteries into electronics

d)                 Secure battery mounting clamp assembly.

e)                 Set/Verify electronics switch settings

i)                    Booster Altimeter Settings

a)                 Redundant Apogee mode

b)                 8 Seconds of Mach delay

ii)                  Primary Altimeter Settings

iii)                Backup Altimeter Settings

a)                 Apogee Delay ON

iv)                Primary & Backup Timer Settings

a)                 Channel 1

(1)               3 Seconds

b)                 Channel 2

(1)               4 Seconds

v)                  Outboard Timer Settings

a)                 Channel 1

(1)               12 Seconds

b)                 Channel 2

(1)               17 Seconds

f)                    Mount sustainer electronics

g)                 Mount booster electronics


7.                  Recovery Systems

a)                 Install shunt plugs

i)                    Port side shunts

ii)                  Starboard side shunts

iii)                Topside shunts

iv)                Booster shunts

b)                 Install ejection canisters & thread igniter wires through conduits

i)                    Nose Cone Charges

a)                 Primary drogue

b)                 Backup drogue

c)                  R/C Controlled drogue charge

ii)                  Sustainer main body charge

a)                 Primary Main charge

b)                 Backup Main charge

c)                  R/C Controlled Main charge

iii)                Booster Section charges

a)                 Primary booster chute

b)                 Backup booster chute

c)                  Separation charge

c)                  Install sustainer main chute recovery material.

d)                 Insert main shock cord into main body

e)                 Attach main chute to shock cord and install.

f)                    Insert nose cone coupler into main body

g)                 Install nose cone coupler to main body shear pins

h)                  Install drogue chute recovery material

i)                    Insert drogue shock cord

j)                    Attach drogue to shock cord and insert

k)                  Attach nose cone, and insert nose cone to main body shear pins


8.                  Motor Prep

a)                 Assemble sustainer primary / backup igniter onto dowel

b)                 Assemble booster igniters onto dowels

c)                  Verify engines and reloads are at temperature.

d)                 Assembly reloads

i)                    Ensure last grain of each reload is well scuffed.

ii)                  Paint upper part of last grain with pyrogen


9.                  Fill out flight card.


10.             Secure RSO preflight checkout



11.             Transport rocket to the pad


At the Pad T-30

12.             Booster Section

a)                 Slide booster onto rail

b)                 Verify engine closure tightness

c)                  Install booster igniters and tape to each engine.

d)                 Install the booster motors.

e)                 Install booster motor retainers

f)                    Position booster against rail stop.

g)                 Join booster igniters


i)                    Independent igniter wiring verification


13.             Place sustainer onto rail

a)                 Attach sustainer rail supports to rail.

b)                 Rest sustainer onto rail supports.

c)                  Verify engine closure tightness

d)                 Install Primary / Backup igniter assembly and tape to engine.

e)                 Install sustainer main engine

f)                    Pull main engine igniter leads through conduits

g)                 Outboard engines (if used for this flight)

i)                    Install outboard igniters and tape to engines.

ii)                  Install outboard motors

iii)                Pull sustainer motor igniter leads through conduits

iv)                Install sustainer motor retainers


14.             Join Sustainer to Booster

a)                 Remove inter-stage adapter covers

b)                 Align inter-stage adapter dowels with sustainer section

c)                  Seat sustainer into booster inter-stage adapter

d)                 Independent verification of seating and igniter positioning via inter-stage adapter sight hole

e)                 Install both inter-stage adapter cover plates


15.             Connect sustainer recovery electronics

a)                 Primary drogue to Electronics Unit #4

a)                 Primary Main charges to Electronics Unit #4

b)                 Backup drogue to Electronics Unit #5

b)                 Backup Main charges to Electronics Unit #5

c)                  R/C Controlled Main charges to Electronics Unit #6

d)                 R/C Controlled Drogue charges to Electronics Unit #6

c)                  Install primary and backup sustainer recovery electronics cover


16.             Connect sustainer ignition electronics

a)                 Connect primary sustainer igniter to Electronics Unit #2.

b)                 Connect backup sustainer igniter Electronics Unit #3

c)                  Connect outboard igniters to Electronics Unit #7

d)                 Independent igniter wiring verification

e)                 Install primary and backup sustainer ignition electronics cover


17.             Connect booster recovery electronics

e)                 Connect primary booster chute charge to Electronics Unit #1

f)                    Connect backup booster chute charge to Electronics Unit #1

a)                 Install booster electronics cover plate.


18.             Erect the launcher

a)                 Verify sustainer to booster seating.

b)                 Verify Booster alignment onto rail support.

c)                  “Iwo Jima” the launcher and lock in place

d)                 Remove sustainer rail supports.


19.             Clear all unnecessary personnel from the pad area


20.             Arm the rocket

a)                 Arm port side electronics

b)                 Arm starboard side electronics

c)                  Arm topside electronics

d)                 Arm booster electronics

e)                 Connect booster motors to launch system. Verification REQUIRED

f)                    Remove Shunts and verify continuity

i)                    Port side shunts

ii)                  Starboard side shunts

iii)                Topside shunts

iv)                Booster shunts


21.             Pose for pictures at launch pad.


22.             Setup the close-up video camera and tripod. Set the focus and framing. Leave the camera in the standby position.


23.             Return to behind the flight line


Behind the flight line

24.             Verify shunt plug flag count (four total).


25.             Inform LCO we are “GO FOR LAUNCH” with a hold for status check. Inform LCO this will be a “HEADS UP” flight and requiring a “High Altitude” wavier.


26.             When the LCO informs us we are the next to launch,

a)                 Flight-line camera operator starts flight line camera.

b)                 Close-up video operator starts pad-camera. Adjust focus and framing.

c)                  Close-up video operator returns to behind the flight line.

d)                 Man the R/C chicken switch

e)                 Flight crew reports go/no go status

i)                    Close Video operator

ii)                  Flight-line video operator

iii)                R/C chicken switch operator

iv)                Procedures

v)                  Booster recovery spotters


27.             Inform LCO we are “GO FOR LAUNCH”.

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