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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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1answer
1k views

What is this red gas at the exhaust of the Long March 3B rocket during liftoff?

While watching today's live stream of the launch of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang'e 3 lunar exploration probe and the Yutu rover to the Moon, @...
2
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1answer
62 views

Hypergolic Propellant Combination

Is Rocket Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and Liquid Hydrogen a hypergolic propellant combination? I recall, seeing the combination somewhere on the www, however I couldn't retrace the source where I saw it.
2
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0answers
69 views

What fuels would make refueling in space more dangerous/complicated?

I saw the question: Has in-space refueling been done? And was actually beginning to wonder, is refueling and transferring propellant dangerous in space? I understand that this would most likely be ...
2
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1answer
82 views

What could be the proprietary propellant blend that “Apollo Fusion” claims to have developed for it's hall effect thrusters?

According to the info posted on the Apollo fusion website http://apollofusion.com/ , they claim to use a propellant blend that offers " 2-3 X more impulse per mass and volume" in comparison towards ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Was there fuel consumption budgeting for Apollo 11 Lunar module?

Did the astronauts aboard Apollo 11's Lunar Module have any stated or imposed limitation or restriction on the amount of fuel they could use while in lunar orbit and performing landing maneuvers? I am ...
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0answers
95 views

What is the best fuel for bottle rocket? [closed]

I want to modify my firework bottle rocket to fly a mile high. What will be the best fuel for this? Could fuel used in space rockets be scaled down to work in a large bottle rocket?
6
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1answer
160 views

Why did the MarCO space probes use fire extinguishant as their propellant?

In many news articles, it's mentioned that the MarCO spacecraft, launched with InSight, used fire extinguishant as the propellant for its cold gas thrusters. I originally assumed that this was ...
11
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1answer
442 views

Does the Soyuz spacecraft chemically stabilize the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to remain ISS-dockable for 200+ days?

Hydrogen peroxide from the local shop (dilute, 2-3%) sometimes has a stabilizer to slow it's breakdown rate and increase it's "shelf-life", since we'd like to keep it around the house on our shelf for ...
4
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2answers
102 views

What are some notable cold gas thruster propellants, and why?

Cold gas thrusters are a very simple and reliable form of thruster that operate only by spraying a compressed gas, without any chemical reaction. What are the most common, performant, or otherwise ...
3
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0answers
47 views

Falcon 9: how much fuel is left on a booster after stage separation?

If the booster attempts either land or sea landing, how much fuel (RP-1 and LOX) is left in its tanks right after stage separation? Recently, I have heard numbers as high as 30% of its total tank ...
9
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1answer
2k views

How much fuel does the Falcon Heavy use? What is the price RP-1?

Does anyone know how much fuel the Falcon Heavy can hold, the RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen as oxidizer, and how much of that will it use to get to a certain point? I don't know how i would calculate ...
4
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2answers
85 views

Propellants used for different Mars landers [till 2018]

What propellants have been used by lander to land on Mars surface?
3
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0answers
60 views

Does the pressurization of tanks prevent “liquid sloshing” during maneuvers?

I'll be the first to admit I know little to nothing about fluid dynamics, especially in a pressure vessel. I was wondering how pressurized rocket fuel tanks don't cause weight-distribution problems ...
4
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0answers
90 views

How much fuel is left in InSight?

InSight probably landed with some fuel margin. Unless it was vented/burned on landing (maybe not a bad idea considering potential leaks down the road), is there some left ? Do we know the ISP of ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

How much fuel to maintain VLEO for communication satelites?

A recent answer about communication satellites in VLEO (≤350 km) estimates a useful orbital life of about month without fuel. I.e. Once the vehicle is out of fuel to maintain orbit, THEN it has ...
3
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0answers
58 views

Pressurization line (Helium to LOX tank line) chilling while pressurizing LOX tank

I have read that in rockets and launch vehicles Helium is used for the pressurization of propellant tanks. What temperature Helium is stored at? If Helium is stored at room temperature then while ...
14
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2answers
1k views

How was reserve fuel calculated for the Apollo missions?

A quick follow-up to How much fuel was used for a Space Shuttle launch? My memory is a little foggy; I seem to recall reading the Apollo 11 mission commander depleted his reserve fuel landing Eagle. ...
8
votes
1answer
598 views

What percentage of overall fuel does a rocket burn up to get to max-q?

I know that max-q normally occurs around 11-15km (based on observations of watching falcon 9 launches and this). Furthermore, I know that the fuel usage for each rocket would vary a lot (which I ...
5
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1answer
140 views

Insulation used in the plumbing line of the actual rockets

While using the pipes for plumbing of the liquid propellants at pretty low temperature because of which ice form on the line if not insulated or poorly insulated, which can lead to liquid to gas ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Where is the Lithium-Fluorine-Hydrogen tripropellant currently?

One of notes near the end of "Ignition!" included: Using lithium and fluorine alone (no hydrogen) their maximum specific impulse was 458 seconds. But when they proportioned the lithium and ...
7
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2answers
558 views

Why were the Titan II's Flames Clear?

I've seen multiple sources attribute the clear flames to the use of hypergolic fuels for propulsion, but I have been unable to find any explanation for why hypergolic fuels burn clearly. (Image ...
2
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0answers
54 views

Is it feasible to take liquid Helium in a Pressure Fed System?

Can liquid Helium be flowed through a heat exhanger to increase its temperature and pressure which will further pressurize fuel-oxidizer tanks.
6
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1answer
372 views

Why is ethylene (ethene) not considered as a rocket fuel

In an answer to this question, the brilliant diagram below was given: The chart makes chilled ethylene look like a very appealing choice, yet I don't believe it is ever used. Why not? Edit: I just ...
3
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1answer
2k views

How much fuel would be required to send a 300g satellite to space using Rockoon?

How much fuel would be required to send a 300g satellite to space using a rockoon that can travel to a height of 32 km, and then send the satellite to a inclination of 28, Apogee: 350 km, Perigee: 280 ...
6
votes
1answer
157 views

Curves on Isp/density chart, what varies along each curve?

In an answer to this question, the brilliant diagram below was given: Each fuel has a similarly shaped curve on the chart. What does that signify? what varies along the curve?
4
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1answer
574 views

Vector-R's LP-1 and -2 engines use liquid propylene as fuel with LOX, advantages and distinctions from kerosene?

@gwally's answer highlights the company Vector Launch Inc. and their Vector-R rocket, which uses three LP-1 18,300 lbf engines on the first stage and one LP-2 1,000 lbf second stage engine to put ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Propellant filling rate in propellant tanks [closed]

I want to pump LOX into a pressure vessel at 2 bar (say). So for pumping it what should be safest flow rate?
1
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2answers
305 views

Is there a chemical propellant combination with Isp between Methalox and Hydrolox?

Methalox rocket engines (Liquid Methane and Liquid Oxygen) have theoretical specific impulse in the high 300's. Hydrolox rocket engines (Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen) have theoretical specific ...
21
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1answer
911 views

What was the result of the propellant predictions in the last chapter of “Ignition!”?

In John D. Clarke's Ignition! (1972), the author spends the last chapter making predictions about the future of liquid rocket propellants. I thought these were very interesting, but I realize the book ...
3
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2answers
99 views

Do military rockets use the same fuels as their civilian versions?

Some rocket families have been used for both military and civilian purposes (e.g. Atlas). Do the military versions use the same fuel as their civilian counterparts?
4
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1answer
143 views

How do they know how much liquid propellant is in a rocket just before launch?

In this answer I wrote: In other words, a few tons here or there could depend on something as simple as the weather, or trying to squeeze a little extra propellant in for a given mission with a ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Why is fuel ratio different for upper stage of a rocket?

After reviewing this amazing graphic posted in another question: I noticed that the LH/LOX ratio is slightly different in the Second and Third stages. The mass stoichiometry of the reaction: 2 H2 + ...
6
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1answer
357 views

Russian “kerosene” versus American “RP-1”

RP-1 rocket fuel is a "highly refined form of kerosene". Most of the literature I have seen refers to Russian rockets using kerosene, versus American rockets using RP-1 (*1). Is there really such a ...
32
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3answers
7k views

What is the primary reason for SpaceX motion to have astronauts board Dragon before fueling up the rocket?

News piece: NASA supports SpaceX plan to fuel rockets with astronauts on board. The move is criticized by many as unnecessarily dangerous. From what I understand though, it shouldn't be necessary - ...
6
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1answer
117 views

Is the atmosphere a positive or a negative for reusability?

Does the atmosphere provide a benefit or detriment in terms of fuel economy for rockets that take off and land back on Earth? We know that the atmosphere plays a large role in helping slow down ...
2
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2answers
4k views

Calculate Falcon 9 CO2 emissions

Falcon 9 uses Merlin 1 Kerosene based engines. Are there 4 Merlin 1 engines? This seems simple to calculate: Number of Merlin Engines x Merlin 1 fuel capacity(gallons) x Kerosene to CO2 Production. ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Why do Ariane rockets not have ice break off on liftoff?

In a recent question asked here, it was asked what debris falling from a Rocket Lab Electron Rocket was during launch. e.g.: The answer, was that it was ice that had formed after cryogenic fuel/...
0
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1answer
136 views

What are the issues encountered when placing a ladder up the middle of propellant tanks?

I'm visualizing a vehicle with a tube that travels the length of the vehicle, top to bottom, going through both propellant tanks. Is this feasible? What are the issues with such a design?
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0answers
37 views

Which is preferred for liquid atomization - gas & liquid shear or liquid & liquid shear?

For generating a spray of droplets, liquid need to be disintegrated/atomized through shear forces. Typical injectors in IC engines and aircraft use shear between gas & liquid at the phase ...
3
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2answers
209 views

What are the choice of materials for LOx pumps casing and impellers?

Given the highly corrosive nature of LOx and the extremely low temperature, what materials are usually used for the LOx pumps? Steel, Copper, and many alloy tend to be flammable in liquid Oxygen ...
12
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1answer
10k views

Why is TEA-TEB chemical ignition used instead of spark ignition?

Both the Saturn V and the Falcon 9 use TEA-TEB to ignite their kerosene-fueled engines. TEA-TEB is pyrophoric, igniting spontaneously on contact with air. This poses handling issues; it must be stored ...
3
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1answer
111 views

What is the surrogate liquid for LOx during the preliminary testing of injectors?

Before transitioning to the LOx tests during any new injector development, water is typically used for calculating flow rates, pressure loss, etc. But testing with water cannot qualify as a suitable ...
2
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1answer
104 views

How are the Titan Transtage's tanks protected from its engine?

As a follow up to this answer which identifies the two pointed objects flanking the Titan Transtage's engine in an unusual configuration as its propellant tanks: How are these protected from the heat ...
0
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1answer
86 views

What is the Oxidiser/Fuel Ratio of the Atlas V Centaur Upper Stage?

I can't find this information anywhere for the single or double engine variant. could it be variable? Or is it a secret?
0
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1answer
101 views

Could the interaction of the Sun’s solar wind and trapped plasma ions be used to propel a rocket through interplanetary space?

I have recently had a renewed interest in comets and how comet tails are formed. From studying this process, a thought occurred to me that perhaps plasma ions can be created within a long hollow ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Why does the 2nd stage of Falcon 9 need compressed He tanks?

It is well known that the rapid disassembly of Falcon 9 static testing started with the rupture of the composite fibres of the copv He tanks. But what is the need to have the composite tanks ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Rocket engine power vs. Sound

Is there any relationship between the sound emitted from a rocket engine and the amount of thrust it gets at surface temperature and pressure?
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0answers
112 views

What is the droplet size that is desirable for pintle injectors?

The pintle injectors tend to generate droplets after impingement of the fuel and the oxidiser stream and I understand that the droplets will be premixed. In such a case, even a larger premixed ...
10
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3answers
2k views

What are the phases of ignition (and flameout) of a liquid fuel engine?

As I observed ignition of several rocket engines (Shuttle, AMDE, Lynx Suborbital, Saturn V) they all come through a couple phases - emitting various vapors, unfocused flame, etc, before the proper "...
6
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2answers
99 views

How do you calculate what percent of hydrogen combustion is turned into heat vs pressure?

As a high school calculus and physics student interested in aerospace engineering, I was trying to understand the basics of how a rocket works and couldn’t find an equation or any analysis online on ...