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Santa Susana Field Laboratory
Environmental Cleanup and Closure

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Area II General Engine Testing Procedures

  1. Mount engine on stand.
  2. Purge LOX dome with gaseous nitrogen.
  3. Flush TCE through thrust chamber and LOX dome. TCE would drop into the flame bucket.
  4. Dry LOX dome with gaseous nitrogen after TCE flushing.
  5. Fill thrust chamber to overflowing with TCE.
  6. Drain thrust chamber and test engine.
  7. Pump fuel and oxidizer to engine’s ignition system and blend.
  8. Ignite blend; engine burns and flames shoot down into flame deflector, and exit through the thrust chamber.
  9. Large volumes of water are injected into the shoot area during the test for cooling purposes.
  10. Cooling water is channeled to area skim pond.
  11. Repeat flushing one day after the engine test (beginning with the LOX dome purge).

Note: After 1961, when the TCE recycling system was implemented, TCE was captured in a catch pan and contained in a storage tank after being flushed through the engines. TCE was then sold for recycling.

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