I'm guessing this is the case that applies here. (edit: 99.3% with Laplace's rule.) There’s really no point in designing additional failsafes into a launch vehicle when it disintegrates which can happen for a variety of reasons beyond anyone’s control — RUD is really just an euphemism for an explosion. Well, flying paying passengers in scheduled airline traffic and taking astronauts to space have different definitions of "man rated". Designing exotic thermites is a literal direct application of the elementary reaction thermodynamics that you learn in basic chemistry classes. Your intuition based on room temperature chemistry is incorrect. >Hypothetical particles and states of matter that have "exotic" physical properties that would violate known laws of physics, such as a particle having a negative mass. During a propulsive landing, the Dragon capsule would test the SuperDracos while still at a reasonably high altitude; this way, in the event of a failed SuperDraco, the parachute backup can be used. I've taken these from other commenters, but can someone rectify these apparently contradictory statements for me? "The following metals have been found to be incompatible with nitrogen tetroxide and must not be used: Aluminum 2024, Zinc, Aluminum 7075, Silver, K-Monel, Titanium, Brass Cadmium, Bronze Hastelloy, Copper, EZ Flow 45 Braze. They should be more careful in releasing these kinds of statements. Based on what just happened, this is somewhat alarming: Airliners are the safest form of transport ever devised. For example, a "thermobaric lance" used to punch holes through reinforced walls is just a bunch of iron metal burning in excess oxygen, the colors in fireworks are diverse metals, etc. I haven't done a fair comparison where the same metric was used (say, fatalities per mile traveled in both transport types) but it would be interesting to see one. I also guess that the titanium component of the valve is not normally exposed to the oxidizer, and only came in contact with it when the valve broke. The transmission tg of a gas whose average volume mixing ratio (cg) and length (l) is then written: Figures 4.6 and 4.7 show the transmission of different gases of interest for integrated concentrations ranging from 100 to 2,000 ppm.m according to the compounds (other figures are presented in the following paragraphs). We'll pay the Russians what it takes to keep going to ISS. In order to avoid stress corrosion defects in titanium propellant tanks, 1 or 3% of nitrogen oxide (NO) per weight by volume is added to the oxidizer NTO. Looks like the ISS does the equivalent distance of (only) 134 crossings of North America in one day. Iron is also quite flammable as a fine powder but I don't expect my skillet to spontaneously combust on my stove. 4:46: Let me just move this beaker of rocket fuel over a foot while I aim a syringe of oxidizer. Boosters are typically direct metal oxidation reactions e.g. For a 'fun' watch, check out NASA's "Toxic Propellant Hazards" video, from ~1966. Bismuth(III) oxide, boron(III) oxide, silicon(IV) oxide, chromium(III) oxide, manganese(IV) oxide, iron(III) oxide, iron(II,III) oxide, copper(II) oxide, and lead(II,IV) oxide. I wonder if there have been any numbers published for space. Here's some weird facts: 1) Most metals are not happy with NTO because any moisture turns NTO into concentrated nitric acid and nitric eats lots of metals. A sparkler has a composition that is very similar to a primary stage, a mixture of oxidizer and organics plus a bit of metal for better thermal power (or sparkles, in the case of a sparkler). If Americans die because this was rushed, you can kiss NASA's manned space efforts goodbye. SpaceX says Crew Dragon capsule exploded due to exotic titanium fire, https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/866010.pdf. It will burn the aluminum component but a thermite reaction is a completely different animal.

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