Encyclopedia Astronautica

Reaction Motors Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. 0.225 kN. Small experimental engine. Single thrust chamber, water cooled, equipped only with spark plug igntion system and propellant flow valves. Test article only built.

Engine: 0.66 kg (1.45 lb). Chamber Pressure: 16.70 bar. Propellant Formulation: Lox/Alcohol+Water mixture with .86 specific gravity. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 34.84.

AKA: XLR39-RM-1.
Unfuelled mass: 0.66 kg (1.45 lb).
Height: 0.22 m (0.73 ft).
Diameter: 0.0380 m (0.1240 ft).
Thrust: 225 N (50 lbf).

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  • Lox/Alcohol Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

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