Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: Boeing / Rocketdyne
Rocketdyne solar/lh2 rocket engine. 0.176 kN. Solar Thermal Engine. Pressure-fed. SOTV Solar Orbit Transver Vehicle. Isp=870s.

Thrust: 176 N (39 lbf).
Specific impulse: 870 s.
First Launch: 1999.

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Associated Propellants
  • Solar/LH2 By use of concentrating mirrors, solar power can be used to heat a propellant (usually hydrogen) to produce thrust in space. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. More...

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