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To copy the key part of this answer (and this related earlier answer)... an important figure of merit in a rocket engine is the "characteristic velocity": $$c_* \propto \sqrt{\frac{T_t}{M_w}}$$ where $T_t$ can be taken to be the exhaust temperature, and $M_w$ is the molecular weight of the gas species in the exhaust. (The "proportional" ...

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