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Nuclear/Ammonia
Nuclear/Ammonia propellant. Nuclear thermal engines use the heat of a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant. Although early Russian designs used ammonia or an ammonia/alcohol mixture as propellant, the ideal working fluid for space applications is the liquid form of the lightest element, hydrogen. Although successfully ground-tested in both Russia, they have never been flown due primarily to environmental and safety concerns.

Propellant Formulation: Nuclear/NH3+Alcohol (C2H5OH). Fuel Density: 0.604 g/cc. Fuel Freezing Point: -78 deg C. Fuel Boiling Point: -33 deg C.



Subtopics

OKB-456 Russian intercontinental range ballistic missile. Variant using a Glushko nuclear engine heating ammonia as a propellant.

Superraket Block B Nuclear/Ammonia propellant rocket stage. Nuclear engine operating at 3500 deg K. Mass estimated; empty mass calculated.

YaKhR-2 Core Nuclear/Ammonia propellant rocket stage. Engines in development by Bondaryuk and Glushko. Alternate propellants ammonia only or ammonia/alcohol mixture. Four expansion nozzles fed by single reactor. Masses calculated based on given vehicle gross weight and performance.

Launch Vehicles: OKB-456. Stages: YaKhR-2 Core, Superraket Block B.

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