Sutton, George P. Consulting Engineer, Danville, California.
- Liquid-propellant rocket engines
- Solid-propellant rocket motors
- Comparison of propulsion systems
- Hybrid rocket propulsion
- Additional Readings
The process of imparting a force to a flying vehicle, such as a missile or a spacecraft, by the momentum of ejected matter. This matter, called propellant, is stored in the vehicle and ejected at high velocity. In chemical rockets the propellants are chemical compounds that undergo a chemical combustion reaction, releasing the energy for thermodynamically accelerating and ejecting the gaseous reaction products at high velocities. Chemical rocket propulsion is thus differentiated from other types of rocket propulsion, which use nuclear, solar, or electrical energy as their power source and which may use mechanisms other than the adiabatic expansion of a gas for achieving a high ejection velocity. See also: Electrothermal propulsion; Interplanetary propulsion; Ion propulsion; Plasma propulsion; Propulsion; Spacecraft propulsion
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