Chemical Rocket Engine

Chemical Rocket Engine

 

a rocket engine in which the chemical energy of a propellant is used to produce thrust. It is the principal type of rocket engine.

The propellant may be liquid, solid, or hybrid. Accordingly, chemical rocket engines are classified as liquid-propellant, solid-propellant, or hybrid. For auxiliary spacecraft systems, chemical engines have also been developed that use the vapor of a liquid propellant, the gases liberated in the electrolysis of water, or a gaseous monopropellant.

Propulsion systems incorporating chemical rocket engines have thrusts that range from fractions of a newton to tens of meganewtons. The specific impulse may be as high as 5 kilonewton-seconds per kilogram (kN · sec/kg), a value obtained with experimental engines that burn fluorine/lithium/hydrogen propellant. The development of propellants based on free atoms and radicals or on excited atoms and molecules should increase the specific impulse of chemical rocket engines to 10–20 kN · sec/kg.

References in periodicals archive ?
This provides a dramatic improvement in performance compared to conventional chemical rocket engines.
Another note: though nuclear-propelled spacecraft could attain higher speeds than possible with conventional chemical rocket engines, they would take days or weeks to accelerate, making such propulsion of limited interest to military engineers.

Full browser ?