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A hard start is a rocketry term referring to an explosion of propellant at ignition.
Additional recommended knowledge
Rocket fuels, hypergolic or otherwise, must be mixed in the right quantities to have a controlled rate of production of hot gas. A hard start indicates that the quantity of combustible propellant that entered the combustion chamber prior to ignition was too large. The result can be an excessive spike of pressure, possibly leading to structural failure or even an explosion (sometimes facetiously referred to as "spontaneous disassembly").
Avoiding hard starts involves careful timing of the ignition relative to valve timing or varying the mixture ratio so as to limit the maximum pressure that can occur.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hard_start". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|