Nitrous Oxide-Organic Liquid Monopropellant Rocket
The Nitrous Oxide-Organic Liquid Monopropellant Rocket (NOOLMR) is a new rocket concept using nitrous oxide mixed with a small amount of a liquid organic fuel, such as an alcohol or hydrocarbon, as a monopropellant. Liquid monopropellants are often used in propulsion systems where simplicity of design, restartability/control on demand, and repeatability is desired, such as in spacecraft reaction control systems (RCS), which exhibit modest performance. Unfortunately, even the best performing monopropellants offer only modest specific impulse (Isp), are extremely toxic, and difficult and expensive to store and handle. Other monopropellants, such as hydrogen peroxide, are safer, but tend to be associated with even lower Isp. A NOOLMR system, however, would have a much higher specific impulse than any current monopropellant rocket systems, and would use a much less toxic propellant than other high specific impulse monopropellants. Replacing current liquid monopropellant propulsion systems with NOOLMR-based systems would provide much greater performance than current systems, while greatly reducing ground processing time and costs.
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