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Re: AO40: status

>If there is a leak anywhere inside AO40, it is just a big tin can with
>lots of panels.  In such a cases usually one panel somewhere splits at the
>seam. Once it splits, it relieves the pressure on all the others so that
>no others will probably split.

I don't think there are any large hollow sealed compartments inside
AO-40 (except for the fuel tanks, of course), as the air inside must
be free to vent quickly during launch.

Even with venting, a sufficiently high overpressure generated by
leaking propellants that combine and burn could still blow out a panel
or surface. It would be interesting to see where a more moderate
overpressure in the central cylinder would come out. If there are vent
paths from the central cylinder through the module bays and out around
the edges of the solar panels, escaping gas could easily set up some
significant rotational torques.


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