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Spaceplanes pp 105-123 | Cite as

Advanced Propulsion

  • Matthew A. Bentley

Advances in aviation are nearly always combined with advances in propulsion technology. Better, more efficient engines allow greater speeds or ranges while consuming less fuel. This continual quest for greater efficiencies extends to spaceflight as well. Space launch vehicles have historically carried all their propellants with them, relying on the staging principle to achieve orbit. Berating the atmosphere during launch, regarding it as some sort of fiendish barrier to be crossed as quickly as possible, they nevertheless embrace it on the return journey, thankful for its free drag, which slows the spacecraft down prior to landing. Without this blanket of air around our planet, manned spaceflight would be far more difficult, as all returning vehicles would have to carry as much propellant to slow down as they now carry to accelerate spaceward in the first place.

It is clear that competent spaceflight begins with efficiently traversing the atmospheric curtain that envelops our planet....

Keywords

Combustion Chamber Rocket Engine Specific Impulse Centrifugal Impeller Scramjet Engine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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    George P. Sutton and Oscar Biblarz , Rocket Propulsion Elements , 7th ed. , Wiley , New York , 2001.Google Scholar
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    Richard Varvill and Alan Bond , “A comparison of propulsion concepts for SSTO reusable launchers”. JBIS, 56, pp. 108–117, 2003.Google Scholar
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    Captain Mitchell B. Clapp, In-flight propellant transfer spaceplane design and testing considerations. AIAA Paper 95–2955, 1995.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew A. Bentley
    • 1
  1. 1.Rock RiverUSA

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