Flight Termination Console


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This is a console from which commands can be sent to an errant rocket to terminate flight. Flight termination means to destroy the rocket’s ability to fly under power as quickly as possible. This is normally done by detonating explosive charges that destroy fuel tanks or, in the case of a solid propellant rocket, splits open the propellant casing. The end result is usually the same, the rocket blows up and returns to earth in pieces. All rockets launched on the Eastern Range are required to have a functioning flight termination system aboard the vehicle.

Flight termination systems are employed in the interest of safety of the public and launch facilities. Should a rocket become unstable or go off-course and become a potential safety hazard, it is the responsibility of operators on these types of consoles to terminate the flight of the rocket. This console is an early design that was removed from the old Range Control Center at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This console was reported when it was new in the 11 March 1988 Missileer.

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