Encyclopedia Astronautica
Index


Air.
  • Air used as an inert cold gas, held under pressure and released by valves to create thrust.

Air/Kerosene.

  • Ambient air (78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, etc.) is scooped up by air intakes and used in turbojet, turbofan, ramjet, scramjet, or other airbreathing engines. It is used to burn aviation-grade kerosene, commercial grade JP-4 or JP-5, their military equivalents, or special high-temperature blends such as those used in the SR-71.

Air/LH2.

  • Ambient air (78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, etc.) is scooped up by air intakes and used in turbojet, turbofan, ramjet, scramjet, or other airbreathing engines as an oxidiser. Liquid hydrogen has not been used as a fuel for aircraft to date due to its big drawbacks - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. It is mainly proposed in air-breathing engines for high-speed scramjet aircraft, and mixed propulsion single-stage-to-orbit designs, where use of hydrocarbon propellants creates coking and other issues.

Air/Lox/LH2.

  • Ambient air (78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, etc.) is scooped up by air intakes and used in turbojet, turbofan, ramjet, scramjet, or other airbreathing engines as an oxidiser. In this variant the motor converts to pure rocket propulsion, using on-board liquid oxygen for the final push to orbit.

Air/Slush LH2.

  • Ambient air (78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, etc.) is scooped up by air intakes and used in turbojet, turbofan, ramjet, scramjet, or other airbreathing engines as an oxidiser. Slush hydrogen is formed by taking liquid hydrogen down to nearly the melting point. This produces a partly-solidified but still mobile version of the fuel with 20% greater density than liquid hydrogen itself. Proposed for use from the 1980's in air-breathing and rocket-powered single-stage-to-orbit vehicles where maximization of fuel weight to empty weight is absolutely essential.

Ammonia.

  • Ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odour. Ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odour.

BrF5/Hydrazine.

  • Bromine Pentafluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH.

BrF5/Hydyne.

  • Bromine Pentafluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

BrF5/MMH.

  • Bromine Pentafluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance.

BrF5/UDMH.

  • Bromine Pentafluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

CF2/Hydrazine.

  • CF2 was a free radical considered as a rocket oxidizer in the 1950's. It proved to unstable for use. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

CF2/LH2.

  • CF2 was a free radical considered as a rocket oxidizer in the 1950's. It proved to unstable for use. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks.

ClF3/Hydrazine.

  • Chlorine trifluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

ClF3/Hydyne.

  • Chlorine trifluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

ClF3/Kerosene.

  • Chlorine trifluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

ClF3/UDMH.

  • Chlorine trifluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

ClO3F/Hydrazine.

  • Perchloryl fluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

ClO3F/Hydyne.

  • Perchloryl fluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

ClO3F/Kerosene.

  • Perchloryl fluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

ClO3F/MMH.

  • Perchloryl fluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance.

ClO3F/UDMH.

  • Perchloryl fluoride was another of the extremely reactive and toxic oxidisers tested in the United States in the late 1950's. As in the other cases, it was found that the handling problems and safety risks outweighed the performance benefits. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

Electric/Ammonia.

  • The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels. Ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odour.

Electric/Cesium.

  • The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels.

Electric/Krypton.

  • The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels.

Electric/LH2.

  • The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today.

Electric/Mercury.

  • The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels. Proposed as propellant for some ion motors.

Electric/Teflon.

  • The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels. Teflon was introduced in the late 1990's as the solid fuel heated electrically to provide a completely solid-state rocket system for spacecraft orientation with no moving parts.

Electric/Xenon.

  • The many versions of electric engines use electric or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized elements to high velocity, creating thrust. The power source can be a nuclear reactor or thermal-electric generator, or solar panels. Proposed as propellant for some ion motors.

Flox/Kerosene.

  • Flox was a mixture of liquid fluorine and liquid oxygen. This was tested in Atlas rocket engines in the 1950's and 1960's. It improved performance while avoiding the handling problems of pure liquid oxygen. It did not find operational use. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

Flox/UDMH.

  • Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

Free Radical.

Gas Dynamic Laser/CO+Air+N2+C2H5OH.

  • Laser propulsion involves using the power of a laser to heat or augment combustion of a mixture of gases. Mix of propellants to be heated by a gas dynamic laser in one Russian prototype.

GOX/Alcohol.

  • Gaseous oxygen is used as an oxidiser in Russian thrusters for orbital maneuvering and orientation. It is a by-product of liquid oxygen, used in the main engine, and slowly boiling off over time. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned.

Gox/GCH4.

  • Gaseous oxygen is used as an oxidiser in Russian thrusters for orbital maneuvering and orientation. It is a by-product of liquid oxygen, used in the main engine, and slowly boiling off over time.

GOX/Kerosene.

  • Gaseous oxygen is used as an oxidiser in Russian thrusters for orbital maneuvering and orientation. It is a by-product of liquid oxygen, used in the main engine, and slowly boiling off over time. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

GOX/Sintin.

  • Gaseous oxygen is used as an oxidiser in Russian thrusters for orbital maneuvering and orientation. It is a by-product of liquid oxygen, used in the main engine, and slowly boiling off over time.

Guncotton.

  • Propellant for gun used in gun-launched rockets such as Martlet. Propellant for gun used in gun-launched rockets such as Martlet.

H2O2.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane.

H2O2/CxHy.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Term for generic hydrocarbon fuels.

H2O2/Hydrazine.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

H2O2/Hydyne.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

H2O2/Kerosene.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

H2O2/Pentaborane.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Pentaborane (B5H9) was considered as a high performance fuel in the US in the 1950's. Its development was pursued with some vigour by Glushko in Russia during the 1960's. But like the other fluorine and boron motors of the time, it presented too many handling and safety problems to be adopted as a flight engine.

H2O2/Solid.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems.

H2O2/UDMH.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

Hydrazine.

  • Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

Isopropylnitrate.

LF2/Ammonia.

  • Liquid Fluorine is the highest performance oxidiser and in the early 1960's it seemed in both American and Russia that a new generation of higher performance engines would emerge. However although test engines were built, fluorine was found to be just too toxic and reactive to be safely used as a propellant. Ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odour.

LF2/Hydrazine.

  • Liquid Fluorine is the highest performance oxidiser and in the early 1960's it seemed in both American and Russia that a new generation of higher performance engines would emerge. However although test engines were built, fluorine was found to be just too toxic and reactive to be safely used as a propellant. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

LF2/Kerosene.

  • Liquid Fluorine is the highest performance oxidiser and in the early 1960's it seemed in both American and Russia that a new generation of higher performance engines would emerge. However although test engines were built, fluorine was found to be just too toxic and reactive to be safely used as a propellant. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

LF2/LH2.

  • Liquid Fluorine is the highest performance oxidiser and in the early 1960's it seemed in both American and Russia that a new generation of higher performance engines would emerge. However although test engines were built, fluorine was found to be just too toxic and reactive to be safely used as a propellant. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today.

LF2/LLi.

  • Liquid Fluorine is the highest performance oxidiser and in the early 1960's it seemed in both American and Russia that a new generation of higher performance engines would emerge. However although test engines were built, fluorine was found to be just too toxic and reactive to be safely used as a propellant. High energy fuel demonstrated in with LF2 in the early 1960's. Lithium had to be heated to 179 deg C to be in a liquid state.

LF2/UDMH.

  • Liquid Fluorine is the highest performance oxidiser and in the early 1960's it seemed in both American and Russia that a new generation of higher performance engines would emerge. However although test engines were built, fluorine was found to be just too toxic and reactive to be safely used as a propellant. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

Liquid Air/LH2.

  • Liquid air has no advantage as a stored propellant, but in a Liquid Air Cycle Engine (LACE) relatively freely available atmospheric air is scooped up, liquefied, and burned with a fuel in a conventional rocket engine. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today.

Liquid Air/Lox/LH2.

  • Liquid air has no advantage as a stored propellant, but in a Liquid Air Cycle Engine (LACE) relatively freely available atmospheric air is scooped up, liquefied, and burned with a fuel in a conventional rocket engine.

Lox/Alcohol.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned.

Lox/Ammonia.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odour.

Lox/Beryllium+Pentaborane in Hydrazine 30%/70%.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required.

Lox/C3H8.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required.

Lox/CH4.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required.

Lox/Gasoline.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Gasoline of various grades were used as fuel in the earliest rocket engines of Goddard and others. Once appropriate blends of kerosene were developed in the United States and Soviet Union, that became the hydrocarbon fuel of choice.

Lox/Hydrazine.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

Lox/Hydyne.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

Lox/Kerosene.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines. Prior to that any number of rocket propellants derived from petroleum had been used. Goddard had begun with gasoline, and there were experimental engines powered by kerosene, diesel oil, paint thinner, or jet fuel kerosene JP-4 or JP-5. The wide variance in physical properties among fuels of the same class led to the identification of narrow-range petroleum fractions, embodied in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1, covered by Military Specification MIL-R-25576. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'Sintin', or synthetic kerosene.

Lox/Kerosene/LH2.

  • Tripropellant motors use high-density kerosene for the boost phase, then low-density, high-performance liquid hydrogen for the later stages of ascent. However the propellants are stored in separate tanks. The fuel density indicated is the average for the MAKS design, which burned 17,850 kg LH2 and 18,698 Kerosene to reach orbit using 175,758 kg of liquid oxygen oxidiser.

Lox/LCH4.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid methane has been proposed as a propellant by the Russians.

Lox/LH2.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today.

Lox/LNG.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquefied natural gas - mainly methane,with traces of sulfur, etc.

Lox/Sintin.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required.

Lox/Solid.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems.

Lox/UDMH.

  • Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

MON/Hydrazine.

  • Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen - Nitric oxide (NO) is a low-boiling cryogenic gas. Both the liquid and the solid are blue. Solutions of NO in nitrogen tetroxide sharply depress the freezing point of the high-melting oxidiser. The mechanism of depression is believed to involve the formation of N2O3, which is soluble in nitrogen tetroxide. Solutions are called mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON), and have been used as oxidisers for liquid-rocket engines. Various concentrations have been considered. However, the high vapour pressure of MON limits the concentration of NO in N2O4 to about 30 per cent. Aside from the high vapour pressure of MON, the material is quite similar to nitrogen tetroxide. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

MON/Hydyne.

  • Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen - Nitric oxide (NO) is a low-boiling cryogenic gas. Both the liquid and the solid are blue. Solutions of NO in nitrogen tetroxide sharply depress the freezing point of the high-melting oxidiser. The mechanism of depression is believed to involve the formation of N2O3, which is soluble in nitrogen tetroxide. Solutions are called mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON), and have been used as oxidisers for liquid-rocket engines. Various concentrations have been considered. However, the high vapour pressure of MON limits the concentration of NO in N2O4 to about 30 per cent. Aside from the high vapour pressure of MON, the material is quite similar to nitrogen tetroxide. Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

MON/MMH.

  • Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen - Nitric oxide (NO) is a low-boiling cryogenic gas. Both the liquid and the solid are blue. Solutions of NO in nitrogen tetroxide sharply depress the freezing point of the high-melting oxidiser. The mechanism of depression is believed to involve the formation of N2O3, which is soluble in nitrogen tetroxide. Solutions are called mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON), and have been used as oxidisers for liquid-rocket engines. Various concentrations have been considered. However, the high vapour pressure of MON limits the concentration of NO in N2O4 to about 30 per cent. Aside from the high vapour pressure of MON, the material is quite similar to nitrogen tetroxide. Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance.

MON/UDMH.

  • Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen - Nitric oxide (NO) is a low-boiling cryogenic gas. Both the liquid and the solid are blue. Solutions of NO in nitrogen tetroxide sharply depress the freezing point of the high-melting oxidiser. The mechanism of depression is believed to involve the formation of N2O3, which is soluble in nitrogen tetroxide. Solutions are called mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON), and have been used as oxidisers for liquid-rocket engines. Various concentrations have been considered. However, the high vapour pressure of MON limits the concentration of NO in N2O4 to about 30 per cent. Aside from the high vapour pressure of MON, the material is quite similar to nitrogen tetroxide. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

MON-3/MMH.

  • Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance.

N2O/C3H8.

  • Liquid nitrous oxide (N2O / dinitrogen monoxide / 'laughing gas') is the oxidiser of choice for hybrid rocket motors because it is benign, storable, and self-pressurising to 48 atmospheres at 17 deg C.

N2O/Solid.

  • Liquid nitrous oxide (N2O / dinitrogen monoxide / 'laughing gas') is the oxidiser of choice for hybrid rocket motors because it is benign, storable, and self-pressurising to 48 atmospheres at 17 deg C. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems.

N2O4/Aerozine-50.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Aerozine was a 50-50 mixture of hydrazine and UDMH developed for use in the Titan 2 missile. Copied in one Russian missile but otherwise straight UDMH used more commonly. Higher boiling point than UDMH.

N2O4/Alumizine.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Alumizine was a mixture of 43% aluminum powder suspended in anhydrous hydrazine with a gelling agent. The idea was to increase the heat of combustion due to the high enthalpy of formation of aluminum oxide as a combustion product, similar to the metallized kerosene ("Kerosol") tested by Saenger in the 30's. Alumizine was never flown and was only tested in static ground tests. A drum of alumizine exploded in California when it was not disposed of safely. The fuel was proposed for some pressure-fed 'big dumb booster' designs of the late 1960's.

N2O4/Hydrazine.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

N2O4/Hydyne.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

N2O4/Kerosene.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

N2O4/MMH.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance.

N2O4/Pentaborane.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Pentaborane (B5H9) was considered as a high performance fuel in the US in the 1950's. Its development was pursued with some vigour by Glushko in Russia during the 1960's. But like the other fluorine and boron motors of the time, it presented too many handling and safety problems to be adopted as a flight engine.

N2O4/UDMH.

  • Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

Nitric acid/Amine.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Early storable rocket systems sought to improve ignition characteristics and perforamance by eliminating the kerosene portion of the fuel. An amine is an organic compound produced when one or more hydrogen atoms of ammonia is replaced with organic groups. Mixed amine fuels were first developed by the Germans in World War II. TONKA-250, developed for the Wasserfall rocket, was used by the Russians after the war in various engines under the specification TG-02.

Nitric acid/Ammonia.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Ammonia (NH3) is a colourless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odour.

Nitric acid/Gasoline.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Gasoline of various grades were used as fuel in the earliest rocket engines of Goddard and others. Once appropriate blends of kerosene were developed in the United States and Soviet Union, that became the hydrocarbon fuel of choice.

Nitric acid/Hydrazine.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors.

Nitric acid/Hydyne.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA).

Nitric acid/JP-X.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. The addition of approximately 40 per cent of UDMH to JP-4 resulted in a formulation (JP-X) which solved both the combustion and the ignition difficulties experienced with WFNA/ JP-4 and IRFNA/JP-4.

Nitric acid/Kerosene.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons.

Nitric acid/MMH.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance.

Nitric acid/Solid.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems.

Nitric acid/Turpentine.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960.

Nitric acid/UDMH.

  • Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance.

Nitrogen gas.

  • Inert cold gases held under pressure and released by valves to create thrust. Inert cold gases held under pressure and released by valves to create thrust.

Nitrogen+Helium.

  • Inert cold gases held under pressure and released by valves to create thrust. Inert cold gases held under pressure and released by valves to create thrust.

Nitrous oxide/Alcohol.

  • Nitrous oxide has advantages as a rocket engine oxidizer in that it is non-toxic, stable at room temperature, easy to store and relatively safe to carry on a flight. Its disadvantage is that it must be stored as a gas, which make it more bulky than liquid oxidizers. Early storable rocket systems sought to improve ignition characteristics and perforamance by eliminating the kerosene portion of the fuel. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned.

Nitrous oxide/Amines.

  • Nitrous oxide has advantages as a rocket engine oxidizer in that it is non-toxic, stable at room temperature, easy to store and relatively safe to carry on a flight. Its disadvantage is that it must be stored as a gas, which make it more bulky than liquid oxidizers. Early storable rocket systems sought to improve ignition characteristics and perforamance by eliminating the kerosene portion of the fuel. An amine is an organic compound produced when one or more hydrogen atoms of ammonia is replaced with organic groups. Mixed amine fuels were first developed by the Germans in World War II. TONKA-250, developed for the Wasserfall rocket, was used by the Russians after the war in various engines under the specification TG-02.

Nuclear/Air.

  • Nuclear thermal engines use the heat of a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant. For operations in the atmosphere, some aircraft and missile designs of the 1950's would use the heat of the reactor to directly warm ambient air, resulting in virtually unlimited range for the aircraft. Environmental contamination problems could not be solved and these projects were abandoned in both the USA and USSR in the 1960's.

Nuclear/Ammonia.

  • 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.

Nuclear/Ammonia+Alcohol.

  • 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.

Nuclear/LH2.

  • Nuclear thermal engines use the heat of a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant. Although early Russian designs used ammonia or alcohol as propellant, the ideal working fluid for space applications is the liquid form of the lightest element, hydrogen. Nuclear engines would have twice the performance of conventional chemical rocket engines. Although successfully ground-tested in both Russia and America, they have never been flown due primarily to environmental and safety concerns. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today.

Solar/LH2.

  • By use of concentrating mirrors, solar power can be used to heat a propellant (usually hydrogen) to produce thrust in space. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks.

Solid.

  • Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems.

Steam.

  • Steam rockets used water, heated by an external source prior to launch and stored under pressure, to provide thrust. The heavy pressure vessel means use is usually confined to ground-based reusable applications, such as launch sleds.

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