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Questions tagged [propulsion]

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

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1 vote
1 answer
85 views

What's the highest ISP that a chemical rocket could achieve without using propellants maintained at cryogenic temperatures?

This is related to my earlier question about capturing an asteroid. If you wanted to place an interceptor rocket in space and the purpose of that rocket is to wait for a long time, and then launch to ...
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

Purging and Relighting Kero-LOX engine [closed]

Note: The question is just to gather knowledge on purging. it is in no way intended towards an actual test without safety considerations. Going for back to back Static Test Fires, would it help to ...
1 vote
1 answer
201 views

Optimal Propulsion Strategy for a Mars Mission

I am designing a mission to Mars for a class project aimed at studying Mars' space weather. The mission is constrained to use a single Vega-C launch. I need to determine whether using a propulsion ...
0 votes
3 answers
857 views

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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the maximum number of times a liquid rocket engine has detonated/ exploded during development?

My question comes from a lot of research and curiosity. Do they stop the development process at 10-20 detonations/ explosions? Or do they keep continuining solving one problem after the other. Modern ...
36 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is warp drive a legitimate avenue of scientific investigation?

I've been reading a number of online "pop-sci" articles on the subject of "warp drive" - derived from work done initially by Alcubierre. Some of the most recent articles say that there are ...
9 votes
2 answers
506 views

In Apollo hardware, why were sump tanks needed?

I'm looking at the Apollo CSM Propulsion Systems. These were bi-propellant hypergolic systems. However, for some reason each type of propellant was divided into a storage and sump tank. For example, ...
4 votes
1 answer
217 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
411 views

Thrust to weight of large solid fuel boosters

I have been looking at examples of large solid fuel rocket boosters or first stages used for space launch, such as P80, the Space Shuttle SRB, the various versions of Graphite-Epoxy-Motor, the solid ...
2 votes
0 answers
87 views

Would (Dual Concentric inline Powerhead) FFSC Cycle engine be possible to engineer

I,ve been wondering if it was possible engineer and how we would we work it out DUAL preburner inline FFSCC ENGINE with concentric core and individual concentric turbine inside one another and maybe ...
13 votes
1 answer
5k views

What are the most promising non chemical rocket space launch approaches?

I read this essay by Neal Stephenson recently, which makes the case that, had we not been locked-into chemical rocket technology through years of investments, other approaches might have been more ...
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Why does this formula say rocket efficiency depends on velocity?

Wikipedia gives the following equation for the efficiency $\eta_p$ of an engine here: $$\eta_p= \frac {2\, (\frac {v} {v_e})} {1 + ( \frac {v} {v_e} )^2 }$$ where $v$ is the rocket speed and $v_e$ ...
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.
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Thrust Impulse graph for specific engine type

I've seen many graphs for nuclear, chemical and airbreathing engine. However I have not seen a good depiction of electric engines such as xenon ion engines, argon thrusters, lithium, etc. This ...
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

Can infrastructure for generating a protective artificial magnetic field around a planet also be used to propel nearby spacecraft?

This is an attempt at "...maybe you scientists whizzes can visualize what I'm talking about and explain it better." from this closed question. If a well-established colony on the Moon or ...
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

What would be the dangers of matter/antimatter annihilation propulsion, and what can be done about them?

If a spacecraft was designed to propel itself using the annihilation of matter and antimatter, what potential dangers would this create and how could they be circumvented or at least prepared for? ...
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

How is the Quantum Drive performing on board the BARRY-1 cubesat?

Since 2001 there has been chatter about reactionless “quantum drives” such as the EmDrive developed by Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd. These drives supposedly produce thrust without consuming ...
10 votes
1 answer
482 views

Has a rocket engine with LOX as the oxidizer ever fired beyond the GEO belt?

Intuitive Machines' Nova-C lunar lander is scheduled to launch in mid-February of this year. Notably, the lander uses liquid methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as the oxidizer, and it will rely on this ...
2 votes
1 answer
126 views

Are there any upcoming space exploration missions that will utilize solar electric propulsion systems?

Solar electric propulsion systems had been successfully used in several space exploration missions and were well-suited for deep space missions where long-duration operation and high specific impulse ...
7 votes
2 answers
947 views

Is it ever normal to vent LOX from spacecraft with active engines? Isn't it a fire hazard?

This is regarding: "SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk says a propellant dump caused the destruction of the Starship upper stage" "Musk said the failure was linked to venting liquid ...
5 votes
4 answers
179 views

In a gridded-ion thruster, why are the ions accelerated away from the thruster and do not just stay close to the negatively charged grid?

Basically, if the ions are accelerated due to their attraction to a negatively charged gird at the back end of the thruster, why don't the ions just stay by the grid? How are they ejected out of the ...
-1 votes
1 answer
148 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 ...
13 votes
2 answers
23k views

Is the concept of the Epstein Drive based on actual theorized scientific research which is considered plausable?

I've always found it interesting when we see real life taking its cues from fictional arts, especially when it comes to Science Fiction technology. There are plenty of examples of classic books, TV ...
1 vote
1 answer
141 views

Question on improved SSME thrust chamber construction

How do you get the closed out copper liner of the thrust chamber, which is hour glass shaped, into a jacket that is also the exact same shape like shown? I'm gonna guess it was done by diffusion ...
3 votes
1 answer
211 views

RS-25 Component weight

I need to determine the weight for specific components of the RS-25 Rocket engine. Namely the combustion chamber and nozzle separate from all other engine components? I must have found hundreds of ...
3 votes
2 answers
656 views

Fueling the RS-25 Turbo pumps?

Is there any way to know the weight of Fuel / Oxidizer consumed by just the turbo pumps of the RS-25 rocket engine?
5 votes
2 answers
478 views

Propulsion options for orbital transfers after release from space elevator

In a recent discussion of cost estimates of hypothetical space elevators it was mentioned that a space elevator is (obviously) well suited to bring payloads to a geosynchronous orbit while reaching ...
10 votes
1 answer
533 views

STS: How much thrust did the nominal post-MECO LOX dump produce?

Following up to some questions asked in comments to the answer to this question: With pressure-fed engines, is any measurable thrust generated by venting the pressurant out the engine bell after ...
0 votes
2 answers
419 views

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 ...
19 votes
1 answer
741 views

How far have autophage rockets been developed?

Ars Technica reports on a May 24 phys.org press release/precis on a University of Glasgow paper in Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets about a solid rocket intended to consume itself during use rather ...
3 votes
1 answer
194 views

Why does the Vulcan-Centaur upper stage do ullage burns after engine shutdown?

During the livestream of the recent Vulcan-Centaur launch, the animation of the upper stage shows what appear to be extensive ullage burns (at least four minutes, at least three minutes, and at least ...
6 votes
2 answers
129 views

Would tidal forces be strong enough to stabilize a configuration where one satellite is being used to tow another satellite?

The scenario that I'm contemplating is one in which there is a first "depleted satellite" that has run out of propellant and a second "rescue satellite" that is designed to rescue ...
3 votes
1 answer
547 views

Why is the value of the Isp of the Rocketdyne J-2 Saturn V engine in my calculation so off?

While calculating the delta V the Saturn V has on its second stage, I wanted to also calculate the Isp of the J2 rockets engines. However, the value difference between my results and the values given ...
17 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why is Philae not provided with a propulsion system?

Rosetta is en route to rendezvous with Chury. Briefly, the mission comprises an orbiter, and a lander. The latter named Philae. Wikipedia writes to say ... The lander is designed to touch down ...
1 vote
3 answers
310 views

launch rocket like bullet from steam/air rifle?

I've included an image depicting how exhaust energy from a rocket launch can be recouped by turning it into a large scale pressure cooker by the use of some kind of platform=sabot (thanks @...
1 vote
0 answers
111 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, ...
3 votes
2 answers
272 views

Has Demonstrator-1 2021-006BX demonstrated a hydrogen-oxygen combustion engine fueled by electrolysis yet?

NASA's NASA CubeSat to Demonstrate Water-Fueled Moves in Space says: A NASA CubeSat will launch into low-Earth orbit to demonstrate a new type of propulsion system. Carrying a pint of liquid water as ...
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.
22 votes
5 answers
17k views

How much does it cost to fill an ion thuster with Xenon for a spacecraft propulsion system?

Ion engines are touted as a great source of propulsion for high deltaV missions that can afford an ample power supply and need low thrust maneuvers; and they are great. But I'd like to know how much ...
17 votes
1 answer
8k views

What are the advantages of Ox-rich staged combustion?

In the context of staged combustion, I understand that burning ox-rich creates complications associated with having hot, high pressure, oxidizer. Some engines, notably the RD-170 and RD-180 family run ...
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Could a spacecraft take off from Earth using nuclear thermal rockets?

If enviromental concern was not taken into account, could you use a nuclear thermal rocket such as NERVA or Pewee to take off from Earth's surface into low Earth orbit? If not why? Is a launch ...
2 votes
1 answer
186 views

How often does a CubeSat leverage its ADCS?

I'm wondering how often an Earth observation-focused CubeSat (6U - 27U) would leverage its onboard Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS). Would it be employing its ADCS to optimize every ...
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Combustion stability for the second stage of Sea Dragon

I was listening to a video about SHLV's (Super Heavy Launch Vehicles), and Sea Dragon's first stage engine was mentioned. In terms of combustions stability, the suggested fix would be large combustion ...
5 votes
4 answers
542 views

What is the most promising fusion technology for rocket propulsion?

Given current fusion technology (barely above q=1 as of the 12/12/22), is a fusion plasma torch rocket engine viable? I'm asking in terms of basic science, not engineering, as I know this would ...
8 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why is Voyager 1 faster than all other space probes?

From the Wikipedia article, List of artificial objects leaving the Solar System: Although other probes were launched first, Voyager 1 was able to achieve a higher speed and has overtaken all others. ...
-4 votes
2 answers
226 views

Can Nuclear Pulse Propulsion (Project Orion) accelerate a 100,000 ton M-type (metallic) asteroid to a LEO? [closed]

Project Orion: specific impulse in the range of 6,000 seconds. For example – Starship Interplanetary (SpaceX): Max Fuel (after refueling at orbit) - 1,950 ton Fuel left after arriving at NEO asteroid –...
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?
2 votes
1 answer
143 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
134 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
108 views

How is stage 2 propelling the spacecraft forward? [closed]

A decent response on how the burning process works but how does this glowy burner push the spacecraft

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