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Questions tagged [fuel]

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

11
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1answer
555 views

Is it possible to use zinc powder as a NTR propellant?

The ISP of a propellant is important when mass is the limiting factor; however, that is not exactly the case when launching a rocket. For the first part of the flight, the density of the propellant is ...
10
votes
3answers
974 views

Do any realistic rocket systems use different substances for propellant and fuel?

In his Edge.org Annual Question response, Progress in Rocketry, George Dyson exults in the success of Blue Origin and SpaceX in landing their rockets after pushing them past the Kármán line, and then ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What is required to produce rocket quality methane fuel and oxygen from Mars' atmosphere?

Turning $\require{mhchem}\ce{CO2}$ and some hydrogen into $\ce{O2}$ and $\ce{CH4}$ seems pretty straightforward and has been known since early chemistry in the 19th century. But what about the quality,...
12
votes
1answer
326 views

Do the propellants ionize in chemical rockets?

When combustion takes place in a chemical rocket (LOX/LH2), do the gases ionize due to high temperatures? If they do, how do they get around the problem? Ionization is a waste of energy I believe, ...
0
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3answers
483 views

Why aren't deep-space probes launched from space?

This (amateur) question has always been on my mind. We send probes to leave the solar system, but when we reach there, their battery is almost empty, so when finally after ~30 years we reach there, we ...
2
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0answers
65 views

Would a low pressure container lower hydrogen leakage in space?

Hydrogen, for rocket fuel, tends to leak even through metal containers. Launchers carry hydrogen cooled to liquid in order to save storage space for aerodynamical reasons, but that is unnecessary in ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Is the supercooled LOX used in Falcon 9 Full Thrust a first?

One of the changes made to the Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust was using supercooled liquid oxygen at 66 K (-340 F) as well as chilled RP-1. I've seen various claims that this is a first in the industry. ...
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 "...
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. ...
6
votes
1answer
431 views

Which places have stuff to make rocket fuel?

Which planets or large moons of our solar system are currently known to have the raw materials needed for us to produce rocket fuel? Mars, for example, has plentiful CO₂, and we know how to produce ...
13
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5answers
2k views

What are the challenges in Falcon 9 “full thrust” (v1.2) with densified propellant?

SpaceX has announced an upgrade to their Falcon 9 rocket, achieving greater thrusts with, as far as I can tell, the same rocket motors (at least, they apparently still call the motors "Merlin 1D"). ...
0
votes
1answer
441 views

How are fuel requirements different for different types of orbits?

In theory, the orbit around a single mass always has the same amount of total energy (Kinetic + Potential). Therefore, if a satellite was launched from earth, it should always require the same amount ...
31
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4answers
9k views

Why is there a hole in solid rocket engines?

I would like to find out why there is a straight hole down the middle in all solid rocket engine motors. I thought it only makes sense in hybrid engines where pure oxygen needs to be blown down the ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Splitting water quickly to turn a water rocket into a H/O rocket at launch: could it work?

I was just looking at a small but impressive compressed air/water rocket that launches off of a metal rod that runs through the nozzle and spans 3/4 of the length of the rocket. As the team increased ...
8
votes
2answers
742 views

What's so hard about creating hydrazine?

I've read an article about EU lifting sanctions against Russia related to rocket fuel components. As far as I understand (correct me, if I'm wrong), Russia can now continue to export rocket fuel ...
8
votes
1answer
609 views

Could you protect a crew from space radiation with fuel?

Are there big differences in the amount of radiation if you would put the crew compartment (on the journey to Mars) inside the LOX/LH2 fuel tank? I know that there are similarities with other question,...
28
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6answers
5k views

Why did it take so long for methane to be used as a rocket propellant?

SpaceX have put methane on the map as a rocket fuel, but they weren't the first to consider its use. The first experiments in building a rocket engine that uses methane date back to 2007. Now methane ...
6
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0answers
2k views

Propellant mass calculation

I have been given the following problem: To solve it I used the formulas: $v_e = I_{sp}.g_0$ $M_{propellant} = (e^{\Delta_v/v_e} - 1).M_{final}$ And I assumed that the apogee kick manoeuvre was ...
6
votes
1answer
466 views

What was the first large rocket to use APCP solid fuel?

I'm surprised wikipedia doesn't have a history section for its APCP article. If I'm not mistaken, early solid rockets used something other than APCP, and really really early solid rockets used black ...
1
vote
0answers
679 views

What is a formula to calculate how much fuel is needed for a rocket? [closed]

I am doing a science project, I had to create a concept of a rocket. So I need to calculate how much fuel is needed. My project goal is to orbit the earth in LEO.
5
votes
1answer
388 views

The practicalities of a rock sampling mission to Venus

The planet Venus has hostile conditions: a surface temperature of 462 °C, a corrosive atmosphere and a surface atmospheric pressure 92 times that of the Earth. During the Soviet era, the Russians ...
4
votes
1answer
469 views

What factors are influencing a woosh rocket?

I asked this over at Physics, but no one seemed to know, so I'll try here: If I fill a plastic bottle with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, shake it around and hold a match to the bottle neck, I'll ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Is there a derivative of LMP-103S, called LMP-103, that has even higher performance?

I found this PDF while searching for any and all info related to LMP-103S, which you can read more about in my related question. In the PDF, if you scroll down to page 4, you will find a chart ...
6
votes
2answers
844 views

Which is overall more expensive to operate for a final rocket stage? LH2/LOX or hypergolics like UDMH/N2O4?

My question is about operating costs of propellants, from production, handling, fueling, and anything else needed for the props. I am not just asking about how expensive it is to produce them. ...
10
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1answer
3k views

What is the temperature inside a methane/oxygen rocket engine?

Assuming a simple rocket engine, with a combustion chamber and de laval nozzle, fueled by liquid methane and liquid oxygen, what temperature must the combustion chamber, choke and nozzle withstand? ...
6
votes
1answer
821 views

How is blow-back prevented in monopropellant chemical rockets?

Let's say we have a monopropellant, pressure-fed rocket engine. We don't want the combustion in the chamber to propagate back up the fuel line and into the fuel tank or we will have a big kaboom. (...
9
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4answers
7k views

Why do pressure-fed systems have to be pressurized with helium or nitrogen?

This is something I just don't understand. The way I see it, propellant can be pressurized all on its own in the tank. Just pump a lot of the stuff in there and make sure the tank is strong enough. ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What does “self-pressurizing” mean in regards to propellant tanks?

I've come across this term a few times. IIRC, liquid hydrogen is "self-pressurizing", but other fuels are not. Apparently, if a propellant is self-pressurizing, we do not need to build any complex ...
16
votes
3answers
971 views

How are cryogenic rocket propellants delivered to the launch pad?

I work at a university that gets LN2/LHe (liquid nitrogen and helium) delivered a couple times a week by a large tanker truck outside my office. It seems to work well enough to deliver a couple tons ...
3
votes
1answer
404 views

Standard Database on Rocket Propellants

Is there a freely available and widely used, standard database on liquid rocket propellants with detailed information on the most important properties that is commonly used by NASA/associated ...
1
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0answers
99 views

Hazardous Propellant properties

is there a standard how NASA/ESA categorize hazardous propellant properties like flammability, toxicity, corrosiveness etc? Any links, papers, discussions would be greatly appreciated! Regards ...
12
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1answer
2k views

How weak can a propellant be and still get a rocket to space, theoretically?

There was, briefly, a discussion recently of the use of Mentos and Coke to get to space. It wasn't a serious question but pointed to a way of understanding the core of how rockets work. Last year I ...
3
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2answers
260 views

Turbo Pumps and NPSH in Space

The Net Positive Suction Head of a pump is defined as ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of thrusters will the James Webb Space Telescope use for station keeping?

Question is fairly self-explanatory, but I couldn't find an answer on Google. I would expect ion thrusters because of their efficiency. Thanks!
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the Angara rocket called eco-friendly?

I've read several articles about the new Angara rocket, that called it clean/eco-friendly. I know it runs on kerosene (and LOX), which is not super-toxic like hydrazine, but still... it's polluting ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Will the Rocket Lab's Electron rocket really be an effective launch system?

Rocket Lab, a company from New Zealand is working on a small rocket (18 m tall, 10 tonnes), for which there are already over 30 launches lined up at US $5M each. From Wikipedia: In July 2014 it ...
16
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2answers
2k views

How feasible is it to use aluminum and liquid oxygen as future propellant sourced from the moon?

I was looking into whether there would be any way to source propellants from the moon itself in support of a future base and space stations in cis-lunar space. I found two documents exploring how ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Are oxidizer to fuel mixture ratios based on mass or volume?

Wikipedia references the ratio of liquid oxygen to RP-1 as 2.56. Is this based on mass or volume? Are they using some typical combustion chamber pressure?
2
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3answers
484 views

Could pull from a space elevator be used to assist a rocket launch?

Well, more specifically, using a counterweight like you'd find in a non-space elevator to give the rocket a little acceleration before firing up and spending all that fuel-to-lift-the-fuel-to-lift-the-...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How much energy is required to send a payload of 40 t from Earth's surface to LEO?

I am confused with energy requirement equations... Am I anywhere near with my following assumptions: $\Delta v$ from surface to LEO is 9000 m/s typical exhaust velocity $v_e$ = 4500 m/s and mass of ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What fraction of a liquid rocket launching from Mars to return to Earth would be fuel?

I've tried to get my head around this and have decided that, for the moment, I don't want to learn to solve logarithmic equations. Too much else going on. I was reading Mars Direct and got the ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Have launch system propellants evolved since RP1/LH2?

So I was chasing something else when this page popped into my field I'm quite sure the page isn't exhaustive. What little content is there on the page though seems to indicate the below listed ...
6
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1answer
506 views

SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable first stage propellant for return

How much propellant is required to return the Falcon 9 Reusable's first stage after separation?
19
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4answers
699 views

Could a rocket engine be designed to use different fuels? (Like LOX+H2, LOX+CH4)

I'm obviously not a rocket scientist, so this might rank among the stoopidest questions around here. I wonder if it is feasible to design a rocket engine which could be reused in space by refilling it ...
9
votes
1answer
981 views

How much potential volume in a rocket's tank is actually used for fuel?

Of the potential volume of a liquid fueled rocket's propellant tank, how much of that volume is actually dedicated to propellants (since ullage is needed because of pressurization, boiloff, etc.)? ...
19
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3answers
4k views

Could 3D printing be used to achieve perfect grain geometry of solid and hybrid rocket motors?

Solid cores, either for solid-fueled of hybrid rocket motors, use various propellant grain geometries to achieve thrust curve needed. For example, some of these could look like:    &...
15
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3answers
4k views

Petrol as rocket fuel

Why are petrol and diesel not used as rocket fuel like kerosene ? Which properties make them unfit for use in rocket fuel ?
2
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2answers
2k views

Methane internal combustion engines for rovers on Mars and Moon. Feasibility?

It seems possible to produce methane and oxygen from the atmospheric CO2 and icy soil on Mars, and from icy regolith in the polar craters of the Moon. It has been suggested that CH4+O2 could be used ...
19
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3answers
2k views

Could I home-brew my own rocket fuel?

RP-1 is highly refined kerosene. If I bought a supply of commercial-grade kerosene, by what process could I convert it to RP-1, And, while I'm at it, do I have any good choices for non-cryogenic ...