The exception is in the case of air-breathing engines, which use atmospheric oxygen and consequently have to carry less mass for a given energy output. Some fuel/oxidiser combinations ignite on contact (hypergolic), and non-hypergolic fuels can be "chemically ignited" by priming the fuel lines with hypergolic propellants (popular in Russian engines). The combination of temperatures and pressures typically reached in a combustion chamber is usually extreme by any standard. Ignition can be achieved by a number of different methods; a pyrotechnic charge can be used, a plasma torch can be used,[citation needed] or electric spark ignition[4] may be employed. Stress cracking in the propellant may occur either during the storage period, as a result of shrinkage or of thermal stresses, or during the combustion period due to the action of the combustion pressure or that of the acceleration forces. [citation needed], The Rocketdyne H-1 engine, used in a cluster of eight in the first stage of the Saturn I and Saturn IB launch vehicles, had no catastrophic failures in 152 engine-flights. ˙

Nuclear reaction using a gaseous state fission reactor in intimate contact with propellant. The higher the specific impulse, the less propellant is required to provide the desired impulse.

Exists only at the lab prototyping stage.

Computer programs that predict the performance of propellants in rocket engines are available.[36][37][38].

m The turbopump was employed by German scientists in World War II. However, one of the main non-military uses of rockets is for orbital launch. A solar thermal rocket only has to carry the means of capturing solar energy, such as concentrators and mirrors. m This powder mixture is packed firmly into a long and narrow case. Unlike in airbreathing jet engines, no atmospheric nitrogen is present to dilute and cool the combustion, and the propellant mixture can reach true stoichiometric ratios. Combustion is most frequently used for practical rockets, as high temperatures and pressures are desirable for the best performance.

The general features of liquid propellant rocket motors are described and detailed performance analyses of LH2/LOX, RP-1/LOX, and LCH4/LOX propellant combinations are presented. Provided this boundary layer is intact the wall will not be damaged. v Requires a lot of power, hence typically yields low thrust. Quite simple, solid fuel is essentially inert without oxidiser, safer; cracks do not escalate, throttleable and easy to switch off. Rocket engines are usually statically tested at a test facility before being put into production. This can be achieved by all of: Since all of these things minimise the mass of the propellant used, and since pressure is proportional to the mass of propellant present to be accelerated as it pushes on the engine, and since from Newton's third law the pressure that acts on the engine also reciprocally acts on the propellant, it turns out that for any given engine, the speed that the propellant leaves the chamber is unaffected by the chamber pressure (although the thrust is proportional).

Refueling harder than simply filling tanks. . As the gas expands (adiabatically) the pressure against the nozzle's walls forces the rocket engine in one direction while accelerating the gas in the other.

Abstract. When exhausting into a sufficiently low ambient pressure (vacuum) several issues arise.

The aeolipile described in the first century BC (often known as Hero's engine) essentially consists of a steam rocket on a bearing.

For a vehicle employing a rocket engine the energetic efficiency is very good if the vehicle speed approaches or somewhat exceeds the exhaust velocity (relative to launch); but at low speeds the energy efficiency goes to 0% at zero speed (as with all jet propulsion). As the hypersonic exhaust mixes with the ambient air, shock waves are formed.

As the gases expand through the nozzle, they are accelerated to very high (supersonic) speed, and the reaction to this pushes the engine in the opposite direction. Due to the specific impulse varying with pressure, a quantity that is easy to compare and calculate with is useful.

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