30 votes
Accepted

The principle behind regenerative cooling?

You are missing how heat is distributed in exhaust. Most of propellant ejected through the nozzle never makes contact with the nozzle surface or walls of the combustion chamber, and as result never ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
27 votes

Why is the hot part of Webb's MIRI cryocooler in the 300K area?

It IS passively cooled, there is no other way to get rid of heat in space (except if you evaporate some coolant, which JWST tries not to do)... So the cryocooler has a radiator attached to it to ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
  • 3,235
24 votes
Accepted

How did the Space Shuttle keep its cryogenic fuel cold?

The fuel used in the shuttle's Orbital Maneuvering System engines and used for the deorbit burn was not cryogenic; it was storable hypergolic fuel. The cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen fuel burned by ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

What is the advantage of using Helium over Nitrogen when used for pressurising LOx?

As suggested by OrganicMarble in a comment, nitrogen is miscible with oxygen (you can thus make liquid air). According to NASA Technical Paper 2464, this is a major concern because using "...
TooTea's user avatar
  • 1,585
21 votes

Why is an inflatable balloon inside a fuel tank not used to prevent fuel from "sloshing around"?

They do! Many propellant tank, especially those required to work in zero-g environments, do use just such a bladder-inside-a-tank for the fuel. Typically monopropellants for thrusters. It completely ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
18 votes

Falcon-9's subcooled LOX is continuously refrigerated in-situ, what about its subcooled RP-1?

RP-1 isn't cryogenic actually. The subcooling for RP-1 is only to cool it to slightly below the freezing point of water, 20 F. At that temperature, no extreme cooling is required. The temperature ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
16 votes
Accepted

How does SpaceX plan to deal with boiloff on the trip to Mars?

This is a really good question and the answer is probably not 100% known, even by SpaceX at this moment. No doubt they will have some active cooling to minimize boil off. Structurally there are ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.4k
16 votes
Accepted

Does the NK-33 engine require subcooled kerosene so cold that it turns to wax?

Confusion abounds. Spaceflight 101 has this to say about the NK-33: The NK-33 requires sub-cooled Oxygen with a temperature below its boiling point of -183 degrees Celsius to cool the turbopump ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
12 votes

How are fuel tanks filled with cryogenic hydrogen?

The existing answers do not accurately describe the procedure for the Space Shuttle system (or, I believe, for Apollo, but I am not 100% sure of that - see note at end of answer). The propellant ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
11 votes

How does SpaceX plan to deal with boiloff on the trip to Mars?

I think the most important factor in avoiding boiloff is not using hydrogen. The atmospheric boiling points of the chosen propellants are as follows: Substance Boiling point Oxygen 90 K (-183 °C, -...
Level River St's user avatar
11 votes

How was the Centaur stage fueled in the Space Shuttle?

It was filled through the "T-0 umbilicals" (referring to the time of disconnect). LO2 through an umbilical on the Orbiter boattail, LH2 through one in the midbody. This schematic shows the plumbing ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

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

Ariane 5 does not shed ice at liftoff. The first stage is covered in foam insulation that prevents ice buildup. In this image, the insulation is the brown stuff. Later Ariane 5 versions switched to ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
11 votes

Why is the hot part of Webb's MIRI cryocooler in the 300K area?

Answer: the MIRI cryocooler CCA is located in JSWT Region 3 (the hottest part of JWST at 300K) because CCA’s two compressors and their electronics consume a lot of electricity and therefore generate ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 21.4k
10 votes
Accepted

How difficult is it to convert a hypergolic based Moon human lander to a cryogenic one?

There will likely be significant differences in the required tankage, if nothing else. The paper Lunar Lander Conceptual Design shows a comparison between landers with similar payload requirements ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Has solidifying liquid propellant been considered for space exploration?

The melting point of hydrogen isn't much lower than its boiling point (6K), so the temperature isn't necessarily that much of an obstacle. However, using solid fuel requires either melting it, or ...
Nathan Tuggy's user avatar
  • 4,566
9 votes

Why can’t cryogenic propellants be storable, at least on the ground, via refrigeration?

I performed a feasibility study for a Soyuz launch site on Christmas Island many years ago in support of the Asian Pacific Space Center. One of their press releases talking about the project is here: ...
Terrance Yee's user avatar
  • 2,264
8 votes
Accepted

Propellant boil-off in zero G

Different stages use different means; Centaur uses(used) a thermodynamic vent mixer system for its LH2 tank. This device served to keep the bulk propellant well mixed, and ensured that only gas was ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How will Robotic Refueling Mission-3's liquid methane tank remain full for six months without any boil off?

Image from the informative presentation Progress on the RRM3 Cryogen Demonstration System The cryocoolers were commercial units, electrically powered Sunpower Cryotel CT 11 watt units. There is a ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

ULA's ACES upper stage with IVF - Why are they using internal combustion engines?

What a fantastic question! I learned a lot researching this one. The use of a simple piston-in-cylinder engine on an ultra high performance in-space stage seems to be out of place in a technology ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
  • 10.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Filling the propellants in the rocket tanks

Short answer, they let some boil to keep the rest cool and also 'waste' some to cool the plumbing and tanks before loading. The bulk cryogenics are made by compression, not cooling and from that ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
7 votes

Does the NK-33 engine require subcooled kerosene so cold that it turns to wax?

There is no problem running Kerosene and Oxygen on the same turbopump shaft, at any temperature. provided both are liquid, the density variations are not sufficient to make any practical difference to ...
Level River St's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How cryogenic oxygen was heated up for CM cabin repressurization?

Unsurprisingly, it worked exactly like it did in shuttle. To assure uniform flow, the capillary restrictors are coiled around a warm water-glycol line to increase the oxygen temperature. Page 2....
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes

In a rocket engine, do the propellants come out as liquid or gas if they’re cryogenic?

It's possible to inject in either state, but far more common to inject as liquid state so that one can design the oxidizer and fuel streams to intersect each other, creating a large splash fan where ...
Terrance Yee's user avatar
  • 2,264
7 votes

How difficult is it to convert a hypergolic based Moon human lander to a cryogenic one?

A lander with storable propellants needs to keep them at close to room temperature, for a minimum of several days. A hydrolox system will take up much more volume due to the low density of LH2, and ...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Does a cryogenic liquid propellant engine exist capable of using multiple fuels?

The RL10 has been experimentally fired on methane and propane as well as hydrogen. This did entail modifications to several components of the engine; for the methane version: Fuel component ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
6 votes

Does the NK-33 engine require subcooled kerosene so cold that it turns to wax?

According to Sutton's Rocket Propulsion Elements: If the two propellants have similar densities (say within 40%) such as NTO & UDMH or LOX and kerosene, and the volume flow of oxidizer and fuel ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

ULA's plan for LH2/LOX 2nd stage that can maintain propellant for an extended period of time?

The ACES stage is designed for a lifetime of weeks, not years. The tanks will be simply stacked on top of each other. There's no plan to place the LH tank inside the LOX tank. ACES design is ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes

Does the NK-33 engine require subcooled kerosene so cold that it turns to wax?

First, the only place I have been able to find the equal density claim is in the NK-33 Wikipedia article. (In fact it originates from the first version). There have never been provided any source for ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
5 votes

Autogenous pressurization with sub-cooled propellant

Once the tanks are no longer full, there's no point in keeping the propellants subcooled. When you start the engines, you just have to control the rate at which the tank and propellant warm up, to ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes
Accepted

Liquid Helium (4.2K) sealed, then raised to sub-LOX temperature (~70K) - what is the new pressure?

We don't need to look into the phase diagram here, because it doesn't matter on which path we reach a certain end point. We can safely assume that we heat up the helium at constant pressure and then ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible