NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

As of October 27, 2023, NASA STI Services will no longer have an embargo for accepted manuscripts. For more information visit NTRS News.

Back to Results
Propulsion Estimates for High Energy Lunar Missions Using Future PropellantsHigh energy propellants for human lunar missions are analyzed, focusing on very advanced ozone and atomic hydrogen. One of the most advanced launch vehicle propulsion systems, such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), used hydrogen and oxygen and had a delivered specific impulse of 453 seconds. In the early days of the space program, other propellants (or so called metapropellants) were suggested, including atomic hydrogen and liquid ozone. Theoretical and experimental studies of atomic hydrogen and ozone were conducted beginning in the late 1940s. This propellant research may have provided screenwriters with the idea of an atomic hydrogen-ozone rocket engine in the 1950 movie, Rocketship X-M. This paper presents analyses showing that an atomic hydrogen-ozone rocket engine could produce a specific impulse over a wide range of specific impulse values reaching as high as 1,600 s. A series of single stage and multistage rocket vehicle analyses were conducted to find the minimum specific impulse needed to conduct high energy round trip lunar missions.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Palaszewski, Bryan A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Bennett, Gary L.
(Metaspace Enterprises Emmett, ID, United States)
Date Acquired
February 13, 2017
Publication Date
July 25, 2016
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Propellants And Fuels
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Country: United States
Start Date: July 25, 2016
End Date: July 27, 2016
Sponsors: Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society for Electrical Engineers
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 432938.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
rocket propulsion
lunar mission design
atomic hydrogen
No Preview Available