ARCA Space's webpage for the Stabilo program has a description and an image. Hydrogen peroxide monopropellant? Reaction closer to the crew than the nozzle?

With thrust at the top, it seems that simplification due to inherent stability is a big advantage no, per @RussellBorogove's comment that's not right. While the word "Stabilo" appears frequently, the "aerodynamic stability system at the top" does not refer to any passive stabilization due to thrust-at-the-top at all. It's something different entirely.

Why was the thrust put at the top, and how was the attitude controlled during the phase of descent that used this engine?

Also, wasn't it tempting to use all that free oxygen to get a boost from combustion? Or was that going in the wrong direction - adding complexity where simplicity was sought?

The problem with steam is that it condenses, shrinking by a factor of roughly 1000 in volume. Was it difficult to ensure that the steam was always above its local boiling point (noncondensing) at each location and pressure, at least until well outside of the nozzle?

enter image description here

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Thrust at the top doesn't give any stability advantage. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendulum_rocket_fallacy space.stackexchange.com/questions/9682/… $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Apr 2 '17 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove I've edited the question - thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 2 '17 at 9:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think it did work. They appear to have dropped this approach in favor of other speculative designs. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Apr 2 '17 at 15:31
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Maybe it'd be better to phrase the question "how was X supposed to work?" rather then "how did X work?" given that it seems to have never actually launched. $\endgroup$ – user2705196 Aug 9 '19 at 20:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Stabilo did refer to passive stability due to use of tractor engines (with the claim that towing a mass on a cable magically made it work). They even named it the "Popescu-Diaconu stabilization method", and hyped it up quite a bit early on. They're better at getting investors to give them money than they are at building rockets. $\endgroup$ – Christopher James Huff Aug 9 '19 at 22:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.