Questions tagged [propulsion]

Systems for propelling a spacecraft from one place to another, such as rockets.

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Proposed spacecraft propulsion with particle accelerator

With the new particle acceleration technology of plasma accelerator, electrons or protons can be accelerated to relativistic speed in a device much smaller than current Linac (According to wikipedia, ...
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Why did SpaceX swap the LOX and CH4 tanks between Mk1 and SN1?

According to most sources, the Starship Mk.1 had its LOX main tank (not talking about the header tanks here) on top and its main methane tank below. But it seems the SN1 revision, and all subsequent ...
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X-248 cape catastrophe [closed]

I was responsible for changing the ignition system on the fatal x-248. It was a result of poor igniter design and especially dangerous procedures by Cape personnel. I am looking for some facility of ...
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Going to Eros; what to consider choosing between ion and chemical propulsion?

When planning a mission to a close approach to the asteroid Eros and to remain nearby, what are the factors that one would need to consider when choosing between ion propulsion and chemical propulsion?...
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Can a strong magnetic field be used to propel a spacecraft towards Mars and outer planets in Solar system?

Sun is bombarding us with ionized particles and these particles are moving towards outer planets. During solar flares this effect is intensified greatly. If we are able to create very strong magnetic ...
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Could a horseshoe magnet help a satellite stay in orbit?

If a horseshoe magnet was attached to a satellite orbiting the Earth, would the interaction of the Earth's magnetic field and the horseshoe magnet's magnetic field result in the magnet being propelled ...
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What is the most efficient way to go to Titan? [closed]

With ionic motors? or chemical engines? liquid propellant (LH2) or gas? What is the most compact way to make the trip? in the smallest possible rocket, for example the SS-520-5 is a 2-stage rocket, 11....
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What are the most effective deep-space propulsion systems?

I am looking for a powerful propulsion system for deep space missions. I am between a powerful ionic motor or a VASIMIR (variable specific impulse magnetoplasm motor). What do you think? The idea ...
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What is the load path for thrust in a rocket engine? [duplicate]

This may be a duplicate of this question but I wasn't sure if I could hijack that one to clarify or regenerate interest there. What is the distribution of axial force in a combustion chamber? My ...
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How does LOX-lead startup prevent hard starts?

In my experience with hybrid rockets, the igniter is always triggered prior to or concurrent with the oxidizer flow into the chamber (which already has fuel in it, hopefully lit). This is to prevent ...
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Continuous staging? [closed]

In industrial chemistry it's well known (Armagnac vs. Cognac) that continuous processes are more efficient than batch processes. In-game microtransactions have competed so favorably with just ...
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Help on Rocket Injector Equation

Hello can someone explain me how can I get the value of (6340) because when I try to solve the given values on the book I get (6423.980075) when I round it off it is still not the right answer can ...
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Ascent propulsion system [duplicate]

For lunar module and spacecraft ascent bipropellant hypergolic fuels comprising of N2O4 oxidizer and Hydrazine derivates/blends are used. How on Earth have we accepted such a dangerous, toxic, ...
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What is the precision attitude estimation strategy for satellites, under impulsive thrust manoeuvres?

Satellites mostly rely on star trackers and gyros for precision attitude knowledge. Under impulsive thrust manoeuvres, I expect the star trackers to blur and provide no attitude knowledge. What is the ...
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I need a guidance about reading Rocket Propulsion Elements

I'm 1st grade physics student. I have learnt about units, vectors, kinetics, kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, galileo frames of references: galilean transformation, conservation of energy, ...
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Could you carry around with you a rocket pack to get off Mimas?

This question was inspired by the one here: Is there a self-rounding celestial body from which an Olympian could jump into space? regarding the, apparently shown infeasible, idea of jumping off what ...
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183 views

Is the Helical Engine EM-Drive a real aproach to spacecraft propulsion?

I read that the first test was a failure but another theory says that could be done but it may violate the laws of physics. Is this engine a near future possible propulsion system or is just theory ...
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Thrust in Newtons to specific impulse

I'm almost certainly missing something here so I'd be grateful if someone could explain but how do I convert thrust in newtons to specific impulse? thanks.
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Help on Nozzle Throat Area Calculation

This is the equation of the nozzle throat area This equation is based from a book called HOW to DESIGN, BUILD and TEST SMALL LIQUID-FUEL ROCKET ENGINES This is the solution The problem is I don’t ...
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How was the S-IVB stage configured for the post-extraction retrograde dump?

When answering How exactly did the separation between Saturn V stage 3 and the Command / Lunar Module work? I first wrote that the retrograde dump after LM extraction happened "through the engine". ...
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Do colloid thrusters generate thrust by using only droplets or pure ions as well? If they only use droplets, how are they the same as electrospray?

In all of the research literature I have read so far, I've seen colloid thrusters explained as devices that gain thrust by releasing only charged droplets from ionic liquids as the exhaust mass. ...
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Can jet engines be used to launch a rocket?

Following up on my previous question Can a VASIMR Plasma engine be used to launch a rocket?, I was told that VASIMR plasma thrusters are inefficient in an atmosphere. I then had the idea of using jet ...
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Can a VASIMR Plasma engine be used to launch a rocket?

When I was in primary school, I spent countless hours designing spaceships that probably wouldn’t work. It’s only now that I’ve stumbled across some of the old drawings and actually thought if it ...
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When did ion propulsion first see some serious development efforts?

In the video below at about 01:35 Dr. Marc D. Rayman, Chief Propulsion Engineer, NASA JPL mentions that the first time he had heard about ion propulsion was on the ...
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VASIMR - Propellant usage data?

So I am using the VASIMR data of approximately 5N of force per 250kw of power draw. As far as I can see, this scales fairly linearly, so 500kw would result in 10N of force. (Might require two engines, ...
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Looking for fuel mass per kg payload data for Ion drives

I'm looking for some information on what the fuel/propellant mass per kg of payload is for ion drives. Hall X3 or VASIMR or whichever is currently the 'best' that we have available. This isn't for ...
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Looking for figures for contemporary interstellar engine options

So I have already done... a lot of reading on this subject lately. A lot. You wouldn't believe. My maths is... functional, probably far above 'average', but when it gets into the realms of the 'rocket ...
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How does a Spacecraft change its orbit?

I am a high school student. I saw the latest Indian spacecraft "CHANDRYAANN 2", which was in orbit around the Earth for 14 days..... I am so curious to know how a spacecraft changes its orbit. I ...
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Who built Starlink's electric propulsion systems?

Wondering who actually built the Starlink propulsion systems? Did SpaceX develop this technology in-house, outsource or acquire a company that had the IP and bring this back in-house? Very curious ...
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Could the helical engine work?

A helical engine is originally described in this NASA Paper; see also the youtube explanation by Anton Petrov The problem may be with powering the device. The original paper uses ions in a toroid to ...
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Can a Mars orbiter mass only 50 kg?

A press release by the SatRevolution consortium says that it plans to send cubesats "as small as 50 kg" to Mars to "conduct a variety of valuable science." So that means orbiting, not just a flyby ...
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A question about the feasibility of the Casimir propulsion system [closed]

There is a connection between vacuum energy density and the Casimir effect , see : https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0204125 Another reference can be found here: https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/10.1119/...
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Are there any staged combustion cycle rocket engines under 1000 kN? Is it easier to produce larger engines with this type of engine cycle?

I found that most engines developed with staged combustion cycles are inherently quite powerful. Are there any engines which was developed with the staged combustion cycle with a thrust under 1 MN. ...
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Maximum speed of rocket propellant flow?

In reading this question (Limiting factors of liquid rocket engine thrust), it prompts me to ask if there is an upper limit in how fast the propellant/oxidizer can be pumped into a combustion chamber ...
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What is the formula to calculate thrust needed to launch from the Moon to Mars?

I want to make a rocket that will travel from Earth then fly from the moon then reach Mars Most of the things are done I just need the formula
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Does the moons atmosphere have any amount of human-provided xenon?

Xenon is one of the most widely used propellants for ion engines (sic)- and I also just so happened to stumble on a graph that says the moon could feasibly capture xenon into its atmosphere. Id ...
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Could a complex system of reaction wheels be used to propel a spacecraft?

I was think about different ways spacecraft could feasibly move around and I came across Reaction Wheels as a way they can rotate. So I was curious if a complex system of them could be used to propel ...
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Magnetic force-driven propulsion system for an interplanetary/interstellar spacecraft

I have come up with a conceptual idea of a magnetic force-driven space propulsion system. What I believe is very unique about this propulsion system concept is that its working principle should not ...
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What is the ideal propulsion for an inner solar system spacecraft?

I've seen the X3 ion thruster named as the future for traveling between planets. Would the ideal spacecraft have only one propulsion? Or would it have multiple sources such as hydrazine and solar ...
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How is it that “blow-down” propellant storage systems work in micro/ zero-gravity?

A "blowdown" pressure system is something that is extensively utilized on Earth -- with tons of applications ranging from kegs to high-tech hydraulics. This architecture focuses on adding a ...
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Why don't we use Cavea-B

Raiz Aerospace raised an interesting question during one of his KSP Realism Overhaul play throughs. If the RCS propellant Cavea-B is better than hydrazine and less toxic why does no one use Cavea-B, ...
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VLEO - ion thrust using atmospheric molecules?

For very low Earth orbit satellites such as the SpaceX Starlink, would it be at all feasible to design an ionic thruster that carries no onboard fuel? Instead it would simply scoop the atoms directly ...
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How does a Hall effect ion thruster have a sea-level Isp of 800? Operates at 1 atmosphere?

Astronatix's SPT-100 lists the following: Stechkin electric rocket engine. Used on Meteor and Gals satellites. In Production. 1.35 kW Hall thruster. Thrust variable 2 to 20 kgf. ...
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How does a “hybrid orbital raising system” based on R-4D (N2O4/MMH) + SPT-100 (Hall effect) work exactly? (Intelsat 38 & 39)

Astronatix's Intelsat 39 lists the two engines SPT-100 Stechkin 1.35 kW Hall thruster. R-4D Marquardt N2O4/MMH rocket engine. 490 N. Question: Why is this combination on Intelsat 39 called "hybrid" ...
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Is it possible to get a spacecraft into earth orbit using Linear Eddy Current Braking on an orbital runway?

The "Space Runway" [I have slightly edited this to clarify some issues that have been raised] Luke Parrish mentioned an unusual and novel space launch method to me. The idea is to get a spacecraft ...
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541 views

Sea level static test of an upper stage possible?

As we know that for the upper stages of the rocket, we need high propulsion efficiency thereby high specific impulse. For that we employ a nozzle with higher expansion ratios. Now, if we conduct the ...
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Why is the thrust to weight ratio of ion thrusters so low?

The more power we feed an ion thruster, the more thrust it generates. In theory, if we could give it, let's say 10 gigawatts of power, it could generate pretty high thrust. In the example I calculated ...
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In theory, how much thrust could an ion thruster generate?

Ion thrusters require a lot of electrical power, while their thrust is incredibly low. However, the more power is available, the more thrust can be achieved. What would be the theoretical limit to ...
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236 views

Could a CubeSat be propelled by this low-tech electromagnetic propulsion system?

I have come up with a conceptual idea for a low-tech electromagnetic propulsion system for a CubeSat, and I would like to know if it would create (on a theoretical basis) a net force strong enough to ...
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How do you calculate burns needed to land?

Assume I was landing a rocket and wanted to do calculations on how to correctly land. How do you determine at what time you fire the engine and at what power to successfully land on a predetermined ...

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