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Questions tagged [fuel]

Questions about rocket oxidizer, propellant, reactive mass, or other fuels used in spacecraft or rockets.

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4 votes
1 answer
199 views

Would that asteroid transport be possible?

I did the mistake of watching an episode of the Science Fiction series "For All Mankind". There they are trying to catch an asteroid in order to bring it back to Mars. I know this series is ...
Tobias Reich's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
146 views

Does Starship run on Slushies?

Cryogenic slush (a mixture of liquid and solid) can potentially store propellants at higher density than cryogenic liquid. For instance, hydrogen slush is 16-20% denser than liquid hydrogen. https://...
Woody's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
197 views

Theoretical viability of a liquid rocket engine concept [closed]

[DISCLAIMER: I am an aerospace engineer undergrad and I do NOT want to build this. I wanted to come up with an alternative for the usual hypergolic mix so US military personnel would have one less ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why are nitric acid and hydrogen combinations not used as rocket fuel?

I was recently doing a chemistry assignment about bond energy when I noticed the incredibly low bond energy of nitric acid. Given the high bond energy of a nitrogen triple-bond, this set me wondering ...
Robert Goddard-Wright's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
703 views

How is SpaceX planning to avoid fuel sloshing on IFT3?

SpaceX is about launch IFT3 and during IFT2, the booster exploded probably due to sloshing and an engine having something block its fuel supply. What has SpaceX changed to avoid fuel sloshing?
User1's user avatar
  • 360
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Hydrazine and liquid fluorine as a semi-cryogenic storable lunar space propellant

The use of liquid fluorine as an oxidizer diluted with liquid oxygen has been tested, but wasn't flown, by Bell and Rocketdyne, seperately. http://www.astronautix.com/l/lf2hydrazine.html It was ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there any satellite that uses LOX as oxidizer?

With Liquid Oxygen being used as an Oxidizer in Starship and some other rocket engines, I was curious if LOX was also used for propelling satellites as well.
Prayag's user avatar
  • 117
-1 votes
1 answer
135 views

Propellant consumption of Starship trip from NRHO to Mars

People, I am trying to estimate the amount of propellant (liquid oxygen+ liquid methane) required by Starship to reach Mars from NRHO (Near-rectilinear halo orbit). Also the propellant consumption ...
Prayag's user avatar
  • 117
3 votes
0 answers
68 views

Force Constant of liquid propellants, RP-1 >1200 kJ/kg

I am familiar with testing of the force constant for solid propellants using the closed bomb test. But what test method is used to obtain the force constant of liquid propellants? And is the force ...
Mrr's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
1 answer
216 views

Are there any storable non-hypergolic oxidizers?

Any list of bipropellant rocket fuels I've come across has oxidizers that are either cryogenic (liquid oxygen), hypergolic (nitric acid), or both (liquid fluorine). Are there any practical rocket ...
Mark's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
6k views

Do the flames from a rocket cast a shadow, and, more generally, does the rocket exhaust cast a shadow?

Also, would there be any difference between shadows cast by the exhaust from a rocket as opposed to the flame from a rocket?
Chuey's user avatar
  • 111
-1 votes
1 answer
124 views

What should be the fuel mass of a hypersonic (Mach 7) rocket using APCP fuel that would deliver a 50 gram payload?

Well, I used this rocket calculator besides asking ChatGPT and BingGPT and both gave me similar answers where the amount of fuel would be around 300 to 4000 grams of APCP fuel. And 30 to 100 grams for ...
Fulano's user avatar
  • 153
1 vote
0 answers
106 views

What kind of propulsion did/does the Raytheon EKV vehicle use?

Raytheon has developed an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, designed to intercept an ICBM and destroy it through a collision. Here are some related links: Wikipedia page YouTube video about the project, ...
Steve's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
51 views

Methane vs propane as rocket fuel [duplicate]

How would propane compare with methane as rocket fuel? Propane can also be stored as liquid under pressure.
Rocketsss's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
316 views

Can hydrogen peroxide and propane be a good rocket propellant combination?

The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide can be used to spin the turbopump and then it can be mixed with propane in the combustion chamber
Guest12345's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
77 views

Computing Flight Characteristics for Different Propellant Grain Geometries?

Consider the following image: I am interested in mathematically accounting for some of these different geometries but have had little success so far in finding how this can be done. The first thought ...
Tyreeze's user avatar
  • 31
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

Do larger rockets tend to have a better mass ratio due to the square cube law?

Do larger rockets tend to have a better mass ratio due to the square cube law? I mean, larger tanks have a better surface-to-volume ratio, so their weight-to-volume should be improved
Krzysiek's user avatar
  • 153
3 votes
1 answer
445 views

Which are more efficient: oxidizer-rich or fuel rich rocket engines?

Several internet articles claim that the high Isp of the Soviet RD-180 engine (as used in the Atlas III and V launch vehicles) was (at least partially) due to the fact the RD-180 ran oxidizer-rich, ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k
-6 votes
1 answer
305 views

Hydrogen-propelled space elevator [closed]

I'm working on a space elevator design using kerosene-burning jet engines and dirigibles supporting 1km stages of pipeline and cable stretching up to the end of the stratosphere (~50km), then using ...
Sam Cottle's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
231 views

How does SpaceX prevent fuel from cluttering together in zero G [closed]

What is the solution to stop fuel inside starship collecting in center of the tank during zero G flight? Here is a rough sketch of starship with rudimentary diaphragm system to control flow of fuel ...
levis springer's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
86 views

Non-Cryogenic Propellant Transfer

I know there are programs like the Rocket Lab CryoSat, but I was wondering if there have been any tests of non-cryo propellant transfer? I know the Space Station refuels with a storable hypergol, but ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
92 views

Semi-Cryogenic HTP/LH2 engine?

Also see HTP as oxidizer for main propulsion (for more info on history of H2O2/HTP in rocketry) Note: HTP and H2O2 will be used interchangeably I know the Black Arrow LV (The first orbital lipstick) ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
118 views

How do you find the burn-time of a specific solid rocket fuel?

I read this post about finding the propellant mass needed to reach a specific altitude: How do you find the propellant mass needed to reach an inputted altitude?(altitude at end of burn plus altitude ...
Rocket Man's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
66 views

What is the A in the mass flow rate formula for solid rocket propellants? How do I get the chamber pressure? [closed]

I believe the mass flow rate formula for solid rocket motors is:$$\dot{m}=p_pA_br$$ What is $A_b$ in this case. Is it the cross-sectional area of the hole in the grain? What is there is a nozzle? What ...
Anish Kommireddy's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
405 views

What would it take to collect methane from the atmosphere and use it as rocket fuel?

SpaceX is currently dealing with a lot of environmental regulation issues with Starship. One issue they have is the amount of CO2 Starship produces. Their falcon 9 produces 440 tons of CO2 each flight,...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
-10 votes
2 answers
663 views

Debunking Apollo 11 based on the fuel usage [duplicate]

I have checked the NASA docs and it says they needed hundred thousand liters of liquid hydrogen for the various stages of the Apollo 11 mission. For example stage 2 was calculated to need at least ...
Dong Li's user avatar
  • 91
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Rough values for the staytime or characteristic length of the combustion chamber of an oxygen/methanol rocket engine?

I'd like to have some idea of the staytime or characteristic length of the combustion chamber of an oxygen/methanol rocket engine. Are there sources for this, or a way to estimate it? I've tried, but ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 11
5 votes
1 answer
323 views

Would reaching an elliptical orbit with the same mean altitude as that of a circular orbit require the same amount of fuel?

Would a rocket that wanted to reach an elliptical orbit with a perigee of 100 miles (160 km) and an apogee of 300 miles (480 km) burn the same amount of fuel as a rocket that wanted to attain a ...
Johannes's user avatar
  • 229
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Going over the Apollo fuel numbers and I have many questions

I was reading through Apollo by the numbers and I noticed the LM descent to the moons surface consumed 17,414kg of fuel out of a total of 18,184kg leaving only 770kg of fuel. But then in the very next ...
Brain's user avatar
  • 97
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

Multi-stage combustion products?

Okay so I've never seen anything about this before, and that's probably for a very obvious, very simple reason I am far too dim to think of, but here goes: Most combustion reactions in rocket chambers ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
163 views

Deep space mission propellant

For an interplanetary mission that has a duration of 40 years cam we use hydrogen peroxide monopropellants? Can we use arcjets?
RemyJ's user avatar
  • 11
2 votes
1 answer
141 views

Propellant choices for a Mars landing; tradeoffs between LOX/CH4 and H2O2/RP-1?

What are the tradeoffs between LOX/methane and peroxide/kerosene for a Mars landing mission? In which ways are each better or worse than the other? I think the second one would more attractive for ...
Hartsfield's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
130 views

How to estimate the fuel required to send 1 kg to lower mars orbit?

Imagine a rocket with a payload of 1 kg. How much liquid fuel would be required to send that 1 kg payload to lower mars orbit. (1 kg is just the payload not the whole dry mass of the rocket) I want ...
Shardul's user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do space probes find their way and how much fuel do they use to travel?

How do space probes find their way, for example, to explore dangerous planets like Jupiter or Saturn that have powerful magnetic fields? Do scientists control it from stations in NASA or they have a ...
C.F.G's user avatar
  • 329
4 votes
0 answers
151 views

How was the external tank emptied in a TAL shuttle abort?

One of the numerous reasons RTLS was the least preferred choice is For a safe separation, the ET must contain a maximum of 2% propellant remaining at Main Engine Cutoff (MECO). How would TAL do away ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 499
5 votes
1 answer
270 views

Why did the June 2016 SpaceX launch run out of propellant?

In other words, what caused SpaceX to miscalculate the amount of propellant required to safely land the booster. They had landed successfully on the drone ship in April. So what went wrong here? What ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
273 views

Why do the Falcon 9 fairings have soot on them?

On nearly every SpaceX webcast since 2020 they explain that the Falcon 9 booster has soot on it because, during the entry burn, it flies through its own exhaust plume very quickly depositing the ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
257 views

What is the value of SpaceX Starship 1200-ton propellant capacity? Would a fully refueled Starship be able to accelerate to Jupiter (for example)? [duplicate]

2200000N (1 Raptor) / 1,300,000*0.4 kg (Total weight adjusted to fuel loss) = 4.2 m/s^2 (acceleration) Delta-V (to travel to Jupiter) = 9000 m/s 9000 m/s / 4.2 m/s^2 = 2,142 s (1 Raptor engine ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
-8 votes
1 answer
192 views

How much of LOX will have to be generated for SpaceX Starship to get back from 16 Psyche?

Mixture ratio for Oxygen/Methane is 3.6 to 1 Liquid oxygen temperature of -183°C 16 Psyche (in shade) -113.15°C (https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/16_Psyche) Looks like the idea of bringing enough ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
85 views

Important new additives to hypergolic hydrazine-based fuels since 1972?

In "Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants", John D. Clark in one of the chapters gives an overview of the then current state of hydrazine and hydrazine derivatives. The ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
305 views

How were inflatable fuel tanks for NASA supposed to work?

When the Washington State University researchers looked through the literature, they came across research that described the development of a bellows that took advantage of origami, the Japanese art ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to account for burned fuel mass when calculating spacecraft acceleration?

I thought I could simply remove half of the burned fuel mass to account for the mass lost during the engine burn. But I could not find a Newton's Second Law formula Calculator that would allow that, ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

What engine cycle is best for a large lunar lander?

I'm specifically looking for an answer to whether a pressure fed or pump fed engine would be more feasible considering a mass of over 50T(metric, of course), and a single stage to descend and then re-...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
451 views

Calculating propellant mass from total impulse

I have a simple question about how to calculate the total propellant mass used by a satellite in space. From Simulink, I have a graph of thrust VS time, so I could integrate this to calculate the ...
Sato Yusei's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do propellant transfer technologies work?

I'm new to the aerospace world, and I was wondering how the ISS or other rockets were refueled in space. I've found some information, but most were patents and I wasn't able to understand them well. ...
Bromito's user avatar
  • 153
2 votes
0 answers
477 views

What is the most powerful solid rocket fuel (highest isp) and it's combustion temperature

I wanted to know what the most power full solid rocket fuel is. I do not mean theoretical once like metallic hydrogen. Are solid rocket fuel mixtures prepared in a non-ideal mixture? In other words, ...
Doctor Pinocchio's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
55 views

Does Juno have enough fuel to push itself into a more elliptical orbit reaching out to Himalia? [duplicate]

Does the Juno probe have enough fuel to push itself into a highly elliptical orbit around Jupiter so that its apojove would be at Himalia's orbital distance to study Himalia better? Would a gravity ...
Nullnummer's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

What are better ways to deliver heat directly to propellant in a Thermal Rocket design for use in launch than UV such as in the Nuclear Lightbulb?

Most advanced, high-power engine concepts that I came across aren’t suited for atmospheric launch, so I got curious about what kinds of engines could launch a very heavy craft from the surface of a ...
PedrohSpaceWolfy's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
67 views

A hybrid micropropulsion system for CubeSats

I am curious about how much potential would a hybrid (electric & chemical) micropropulsion system have for CubeSats. The chosen propellant is water due to its non toxic nature, cheap cost and high ...
JD_PM's user avatar
  • 101
7 votes
1 answer
981 views

Nitrogen trifluoride as a high density oxidiser

Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is a liquid between 66K and 144K and has an incredible density of 1.885 g/cm2. It has a pretty great specific impulse, although combustion temp is a bit high, and AFAIK is ...
R. Hall's user avatar
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