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Questions tagged [propulsion]

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

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ECI to LVLH transformation

I am working on a transformation of ECI coordinates to LVLH (Local Vertical Local Horizontal) coordinates in order to calculate satellite maneuvers. Does anybody know how should I approach the problem?...
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149 views

Why we don't use cyclotron for ion thrusters?

We know that the advantage of thruster is high efficiency and 'everlasting' propulsion. Which It can not provide a sudden huge propulsion during launch like chemical fuel is its biggest problem. I ...
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What if GOCE rolled 90°?

Reading this question: Is GOCE a satellite or aircraft? I wondered what would happen if GOCE rolled 90° in either direction, so that it's solar panels become parallel to Earth's horizon, and then ...
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Ambient pressure for vaccum nozzle design

How do i find out the ambient pressure for designing a vaccum rocket engine? I am using the propellant combustion charts from the braeunig website.propellant charts website But i cannot figure out ...
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147 views

What is the most promising interstellar propulsion method? [closed]

What interstellar propulsion system has the highest potential for being the safest, most efficient, and can get around to the nearest stars, within a human lifetime (say reach 20–50% the speed of ...
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What is a mixture ratio of propellant?

I am a little confused, is the mixture ratio of a propellant Fuel/Oxidizer or Oxidizer to Fuel ratio?
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Can a reaction wheel decelerate to add momentum in the same direction? [closed]

Can a reaction wheel shed weight to gain speed? Could a reaction wheel at its max spin be flipped or rearranged around 180 degrees then slowed to add to its velocity?
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What is the difference between “Air-augmented rocket propulsion” and “integral rocket-ramjet propulsion”?

While going through the topic called "Combinations of Ducted Jet Engines and Rocket Engines" in Chapter 1 of Sutton & Biblarz's Rocket Propulsion Elements, 9th Ed I found the section below. Line ...
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Will a spacecraft accelerate in a gravitational field via the use of a powered rotating mass?

I believe that a powered rotating mass on board a spacecraft should result in the spacecraft being propelled in a continuous increasing velocity towards the source of the gravitational field. To help ...
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Could this satellite wobble in orbit creating additional orbital angular momentum?

This question asks if this type of steam engine would work: Could a steam Engine outperform other electric producing devices in space? this not a sterling engine since it has far less moving parts. ...
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What is the nozzle extension of merlin engine and rutherford engine made of?

It is clear from the pictures, that the nozzle extension of Merlin and Rutherford vacuum engine aren't actively cooled. What is the material of construction for those nozzle extension to withstand ...
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Would a grinding machine be a simple and workable propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft?

I am wondering if any space agency has ever considered using a grinding machine as a propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft. This system would not be used to lift the spacecraft off of a ...
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Could a “nuclear turbo-jet” be built?

Being familiar with jet engines myself, I wonder whether a similar device could be built to provide high $I_{\text{sp}}$ and high thrust in vacuum and space. Using the tried-and-true turbojet formula ...
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What differences exist between the pressurants and their associated systems between a pressure fed and pump fed liquid rocket engine

There is an apparent need to have pressurants in both pressure fed and pump fed systems. However, since pump fed systems can create the necessary pressure, they can work with less pressurants and ...
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Efficiency of a nuclear thermal rocket

I am trying to calculate the specific impulse and thrust of a nuclear thermal engine, given the thermal power of the reactor, the maximum working temperature and the propellant. I'm calculating the ...
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Could a cubesat propel itself to Mars?

I wrote the answer below to the question Could a cubesat be propelled to the moon? before realizing that it said Moon and I'd written it for Mars, so I've cloned that question and moved the answer ...
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Could a cubesat be self propelled to the moon from LEO?

Is it possible with current technologies to propel a cubesat, which is launched from Earth, to the moon? If current propulsion systems are able to do so, how do I continue the research in this topic ...
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What kind of “jet engine-like propulsion” does HyperSciences use to accelerate projectiles to sub-orbital altitudes?

The Teslarati article For HyperSciences, geothermal energy builds a path to space describes the use of technology which has been applied to drilling to launching projectiles to sub-orbital altitudes ...
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How do you determine what the temperature will be in the combustion chamber of a rocket engine?

I am guessing it is dependent on the fuel and oxidiser and the chamber pressure but is there an equation that would calculate the chamber temperature?
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Weight Flow Rate

I read in the book INTRODUCTION TO ROCKET SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING by T.S.T that Rocket Engineers design how big the throat of the nozzle should be based on the Weight Flow Rate. So my question is HOW?
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What could go wrong if someone overpowered an ion engine?

The X-3 ion engine is the most powerful ion engine ever made, and puts out an astounding 5.4 N of force, using 103 kW. It's fuel is inert xenon gas, ionized and heated to a plasma. Now, what would ...
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1answer
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What type of propellant does Spacex plan to use in Starship for long duration missions?

For long duration missions such as ones to mars what type of propellant would be best suited?
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1answer
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What happens when LOX and H2 are injected into the combustion chamber of a rocket?

I can't seem to find an answer on this. I thought that when oxygen and hydrogen get injected they collide and break bonds etc. to form water vapour which because of the pressure in the combustion ...
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How to calculate the force drop due to multiple thrusters firing?

When multiple thrusters are connected to one pressurized propellant tank and multiple thrusters are fired simultaneously, this will cause a pressure drop in the supplying pipes and as such a drop in ...
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Very Low Gravity Bicycle

There are a couple of existing questions about riding bicycles off of Earth. Designing a bicycle for Mars? Can you ride a bicycle on Deimos? Bicycles are lightweight and proved a reliable method ...
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1answer
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Advantage of full-flow staged combustion vs conventional staged combustion engine

Referring to the question in this thread. What is the advantage of full-flow staged combustion (FFSC) vs conventional staged combustion rocket engine? In FFSC we feed the full volume of fuel and ...
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Why does the pressure & temperature ratio in a diverging nozzle continue decreasing once it hits supersonic flow?

From Sutton chapter 3 he uses this figure to describe the ratios of pressure//area//temperature as functions of Mach Number. I know that we are bringing the fluid to an adiabatic "stop" through ...
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Is presssuized gas absent in a turbopump-driven rocket engines?

For RL-10 rocket engines, are the propellent pumps able to provide the propellent without a source of pressurant gas?
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What methods are proposed for storing cryogenic fuels (esp. hydrogen) in space for months or years?

Current Launch vehicles and upper stages must only keep their fuels for minutes or hours, so they are only insulated to keep boiloff to a few % per day - I've seen 21% per day quoted for Centaur on ...
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Is it possible to protect a Cubesat's electronics from 100g of acceleration?

I am currently researching the feasibility of setting up a coilgun that launches Cubesats for a paper. 1 cubesat per launch total payload mass <100kg.
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Could protons in the Sun's solar wind be used to create a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft?

I have a conceptual idea for a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft and I am wondering if this particular idea has already been thought of and whether or not it is capable of generating enough ...
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If specific impulse is directly related to exhaust velocity, would a ion post-accelerator improve the Isp of a propulsion system?

I understand that ion- and hall thrusters resemble a particle accelerator, and that led me to wonder if a post-accelerator (particle accelerator) used to boost the velocity of the ions would improve ...
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164 views

Could a spacecraft be propelled by a 180 degree deflection of two charged particle beams?

I am wondering if the electrostatic deflection of two charged particle beams could create enough thrust, via the Lorentz Force, to propel a spacecraft. Please reference the picture below. This ...
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Could a Soyuz-MS deorbit after a failure of its deorbit engine?

The scenario: A Soyuz-MS spacecraft is on-orbit and ready for its deorbit burn. The crew then discover that there is a fault in the propulsion system and the deorbit engine can't fire. The craft is ...
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Can I able to use RP 1 and LOX in metal tin small size rockets? Is that possible? [closed]

I love rockets. Planning to build a tin rocket but not with water and air pressure. I would like to build a small metal tin rocket using fuel as RP 1 and oxidizer as LOX. I know this is too hazardous ...
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Calculating thrust pressure from ion thruster for rocket thrust equation

So recently i have been very interested in the possibilities of using ion thrusters as power interstellar propulsion units, however when it comes to calculating ISP it have absolutely zero idea how ...
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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 ...
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How much delta-v is lost to heat of exhaust?

It occurred to me that all of the kinetic energy not going exactly in the opposite direction of a spacecraft is wasted! Since heat is essentially kinetic "noise" in objects, I wondered how much more ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Propellants used for different Mars landers [till 2018]

What propellants have been used by lander to land on Mars surface?
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How much thrust can plasma produced from water have?

If water could be converted to plasma for a propellant by electricity how much thrust would water produce? What would be the byproduct?
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Converting Discharge Voltage to Temperature? Hall Effect Thruster Calculation

Trying to follow a Hall Effect Thruster design process given in this video: Hall Effect Thruster Design Video In 25:59, there's a calculation in which the presenter takes discharge voltage and ...
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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 ...
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What's the actual oxidizer/fuel ratio in the combustion chamber of the Vulcain?

I'm working on a simple exercise on the Vulcain, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what the real O/F ratio is, in the combustion chamber. I need the mixture ratio in the chamber to calculate the ...
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How do you confirm ignition in the combustion chamber of a rocket?

Is ignition confirmed using a temperature sensor, pressure sensor or another device?
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Purging process of a rocket engine

Does spacex purge Falcon 9 engines after landing ? If so, which gas is used for purging?
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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 ...
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Effect of the location of igniter in starting liquid rocket engine

What will be the effect of off axis igniter, say a Spark igniter has to be used along with a pintle? Will the igniter being off axis have any effect on engine start? Also, will an off-center igniter ...
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Why is SpaceShipTwo's nozzle scarfed? [duplicate]

As seen in this photo (from here) there appears to be a significant scarf to the nozzle. I'm familiar with scarfing reaction control jet nozzles to fit fuselage contours, but this one is completely ...
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From the General Thrust Equation towards Tsiolkovsky, how to explain dropping these terms along the way?

The NASA Glen Research Center tutorial page Rocket Thrust Equation links to the General Thrust Equation page which starts with: Which transcribes into MathJax as: $ \ \ \ F = \dot{m}_\mathrm e ...