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What is the best chemical rocket fuel from a purely specific impulse standpoint?

Very theoretically, metallic hydrogen has a predicted Isp of 1700 s. (Or lower if it has to be diluted to not melt a rocket engine with a 6000 K reaction temperature.) Under extremely high pressure, ...
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14 votes
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What is the best chemical rocket fuel from a purely specific impulse standpoint?

From the historical NASA document Space Handbook: Astronautics and Its Applications, by Robert W. Buchheim (1959). Super high-energy bipropellants 300 to 385, ISP Fluorine-Hydrogen Fluorine-Ammonia ...
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11 votes

What is the best chemical rocket fuel from a purely specific impulse standpoint?

TL;DR: Pentaborane or LH2/LOX From a purely specific impulse standpoint, pentaborane is perhaps one of the most potent rocket fuels, providing excellent specific impulse (about 340/365 seconds in atm/...
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4 votes

When would the density Isp product be an important performance metric of a propellant?

While it isn't precisely space exploration per se, John Clark mentions this being important in Ignition for missiles, especially in cases when it is desired to meet a performance goal while having a ...
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