Encyclopedia Astronautica

Aerojet Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. A-20 ATO. Launch thrust 4.41 kN. Development begun May 1942. Production version of GALCIT unit. First flight 1944.

Three spherical propellant tanks, fixed installation, single uncooled thrust chamber, pressure fed, permanent installed in tail cone of engine nacelle.

Application: A-20 ATO.


Thrust (sl): 4.410 kN (991 lbf). Thrust (sl): 450 kgf. Engine: 109 kg (240 lb). Chamber Pressure: 20.00 bar. Propellant Formulation: RFNA/Aniline.

Unfuelled mass: 109 kg (240 lb).
Height: 1.40 m (4.50 ft).
Diameter: 0.90 m (2.95 ft).
Thrust: 4.41 kN (991 lbf).
Burn time: 25 s.
First Launch: May 1942.

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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Aerojet American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/Amine Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Early storable rocket systems sought to improve ignition characteristics and perforamance by eliminating the kerosene portion of the fuel. An amine is an organic compound produced when one or more hydrogen atoms of ammonia is replaced with organic groups. Mixed amine fuels were first developed by the Germans in World War II. TONKA-250, developed for the Wasserfall rocket, was used by the Russians after the war in various engines under the specification TG-02. More...

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