Space Propulsion
The following is a research project on Space Vehicle Propulsion. It shall
consist of four sections, each discussing specific topics. Section One lays out
the basic ideas of rocketry. Section Two compares Rocket Propulsion Systems, and
shows the basis for the comparison. It also shows how each specific Rocket

System works and Section Three gives a description of how Space Propulsion has
evolved and contains a conclusion. SECTION 1 The Basics Section One is a brief
description of the basic properties of Rocket Systems. It defines the key terms
and shows how a basic rocket works. It also shows the State if The Art. I have
chosen to do my project on space vehicle propulsion. Basically, this means that
my research shall be based primarily on rocketry. Rocketry is a way of
propulsion that has developed in numerous ways since it was first used to propel
fireworks in the 16th century. It has emerged into an extremely complicated
science that few actually understand. Most space rocketry in America is used in

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Association) space projects. NASA, a
government association that focuses on space exploration, is the main user of
rocket technology. It is used mostly to power their satellites and shuttles into
space. Pushing an object that weighs as much as a space shuttle does directly
vertical until escaping the Earth’s atmosphere requires a tremendous amount of
power. This is why NASA uses rockets. Rockets are essentially the most powerful
forms of propulsion there is today. Space Vehicle Propulsion is based rocket
engines. The basic principle of rocket engine is that when fuel is burned in the
engine, the reaction mass is expelled at high speeds. As a result of Newton’s
law of action and reaction this pushes the vehicle in the opposite direction of
the one in which the reaction mass is moving. Thrust is the force that the
engine exerts on all space behind it in order to "push" the vehicle forward.

Efficiency is the way that the quality of rocket engines is measured by. It is
measured by the time it takes for one kilogram of propellant to create one
kilogram of thrust. The goal of my research is to find out what makes these
engines more efficient. In rocketry, the state of the art is extremely hard to
define, since there are so many different forms of rocketry ranging from liquid
propellant rockets to fireworks. The state of the art though is probably nuclear
powered rockets. It is much more efficient because it does not use chemical
combustion like most rockets do. Instead NFRRs (Nuclear Fission Reactor Rockets)
heat hydrogen in a fission reactor which expels the propellant at blistering
speeds. Much research is being done with NFRRs. They are still highly
experimental because of the dangers that could be associated with them. The

NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) was one of the most
extensive NFRR research projects, however it failed because of the inability
figure out an approach to putting the research into a developmental stage.

SECTION 2 Specific Rocket Propulsion Systems Section One has laid the foundation
for further research in the are of rocketry. Section two shall discuss
properties of efficiency in more depth, it shall lay out the types of rockets in
existence now. It shall also show which type of rocket is the most efficient.

After this section, the next one shall describe how the reasons for these
specific rockets efficiency and depending on the outcome of that report, the
topic of the fourth shall be decided. EFFICIENCY Efficiency is the most
important part of my research as yet. Since the object of my research is to find
out which type of rockets are the most efficient and why, the reader of this
paper must have a basic understanding of efficiency. Once this is established,
new definitions will come into play, all of these shall be crucial in the
understanding of the paper. Terms Needed To Understand Efficiency G- a unit of
acceleration [equal to 9.8 meters/second/second (accelerating at a pace of 9.8
meters per second every second)] Specific Impulse (Isp)- A measurement in
seconds of efficiency. Properties of Efficiency Efficiency is the most accurate
indicator of rockets performance. As stated in the aforementioned definitions,
specific impulse is the basic unit of measurement of rocket efficiency. Isp is
found by dividing the exhaust velocity by g (definition also mentioned above).

Since velocity is measured in m/s (meters per second) and each g is equal to 9.8
m/s/s (meters per second every second), the terms cancel to leave just a unit in
seconds. The resulting figure, is