- Beginning in 1960, the Agena upper-stage, powered by hypergolic propellant, was used extensively on Atlas launch vehicles. The United States Air Force, NRO and CIA used them to launch SIGINT satellites.
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Atlas is a family of US missiles and space launch vehicles that originated with the SM-65 Atlas. The Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile program was initiated in the late 1950s under the Convair Division of General Dynamics. Atlas was a liquid propellant rocket burning RP-1 fuel with liquid oxygen in three engines configured in an unusual "stage-and-a-half" or "parallel staging" design: two outboard booster engines were jettisoned along with supporting structures during ascent, while the ce
Liquid oxygen and RP-1 are used as the propellant in the first-stage boosters of the Atlas and Delta II launch vehicles. It also powered the first-stages of the Saturn 1B and Saturn V rockets. Cryogenic propellants are liquefied gases stored at very low temperatures, most frequently liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) as the fuel and liquid oxygen (LO 2 or LOX) as the oxidizer.
B. SOLID CHEMICAL PROPELLANTS. Two general types of solid propellants are in use. The first, the so called double-base propellant, consists of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine, plus additives in small quantity. There is no separate fuel and oxidizer.
- Liquid Propellant
- Solid Propellant
- Hybrid Propellant
- Gaseous Propellant
- Propellant Storage
A liquid propellant is a propellant used in a liquid-propellant rocket engine. A good liquid propellant is one with a high specific impulse. This implies a high combustion temperature and exhaust gases with small molecular weights. However, another important factor is the density of the propellant. Lower density propellants require larger storage tanks, thus increasing the mass of the launch vehicle. Storage temperature is also important. A propellant with a low storage temperature, i.e. a cryogenic, requires thermal insulation, thus further increasing the mass of the launcher. The toxicity of the propellant yet another consideration. There are safety hazards in handling, transporting, and storing highly toxic compounds. Also, some propellants are very corrosive, however, materials that are resistant to certain propellants have been identified for use in rocket construction. Some liquids that were used to propel early liquid propellant rockets, including aniline and hydrogen peroxid...
A solid propellant is a rocket propellant in solid form used in a solid-propellant rocket motor. It usually contains both fueland oxidizer combined, or mixed and formed, into a monolithic (not powdered or granulated) grain. There are two families of solids propellants: homogeneous and composite. Both types are dense, stable at ordinary temperatures, and easily storable.
A hybrid propellant is a form of chemical rocket propellant in which the fuel and oxidizer are in different physical states. One of the substances is solid, usually the fuel, while the other, usually the oxidizer, is liquid. The liquid is injected into the solid, whose fuel reservoir also serves as the combustion chamber.
A gaseous propellant is a working substance used in a gaseous-propellant rocket engine. Nitrogen, argon, krypton, dry air, and Freon 14 have all been employed in spacecraft.
Liquid rocket propellants need special storage and handling – the most appropriate methods depending on the type of fuel and oxidizer used. On most launch vehicles the fuel and oxidizer tanks are stacked vertically, with the fuel tank on top so that its greater density shifts the center of gravity forward and thereby increases the vehicle's stability. Typically, the space above the remaining propellant is pressurized by external gas lines at the top of each tank. This prevents a vacuum from developing and keeps the propellant flowing smoothly. The gas pressurization lines may use inert gas from a separate tank, or products from the engine itself. Cryogenic propellants have to be carefully insulated and, prior to launch, recirculated through an umbilical to an external cooler. Many tanks, and all cryogenic tanks, have a bleed valve to allow high pressure gases to escape. Because cryogenic tanks aboard spacecraft cannot store propellants for long, they are usually limited to launch ve...
Atlas is a family of American missiles and space launch vehicles. The original Atlas missile was designed in the late 1950s and produced by the Convair Division of General Dynamics, to be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It was a liquid-fuel rocket burning liquid oxygen and RP-1 in three engines configured in an unusual "stage-and-a-half" or "Parallel Staging" design: its two outboard booster engines were jettisoned during ascent, while its center sustainer engine, fuel ...