Each month in “Slice of History” we feature a historical photo from the JPL Archives. See more historical photos and explore the JPL Archives at https://beacon.jpl.nasa.gov/.
The ORDCIT Project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was a research and development program about long-range jet propelled missiles. Under a contract with the Army’s Ordnance Department, a series of solid propellants were developed and tested. This photo shows a neoprene based formula referred to as ORDCIT 29, created in 1945.
Ingredients were mixed and formed into a sheet using a small roller mill. The uncured sheet was laid on a table and cut into disks, using a tool that looked like a large cookie cutter. The disks were stacked and wrapped in a neoprene liner. This cylinder was then placed in a mold and compressed. The locked mold was placed in an oven at high temperatures to vulcanize the charge and fuse the propellant and liner into one solid piece.
Twenty-one of these restricted-burning solid propellant cartridges were tested at various temperatures and various chamber pressures. The results were promising, and Progress Report No. 4-25 recommended more extensive testing.