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From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: Re: Unadvisable Rocket Science
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 01:36:13 GMT

In article <4u07q0$> (John Schilling) writes:
>OTOH, if one *could* make a "stable" perchlorate/hydrazine mix, it would
>be a quite energetic monopropellant, and would fit the original poster's
>request perfectly...

People tried to make such things for many years, as related at some length
in Clark's "Ignition!", but nobody ever really succeeded in producing a
safe high-performance monopropellant.  Clark in fact is rather caustic
about the number of times he saw certain ideas -- like mixed LOX and
liquid methane -- repeated, always with the same explosive results.
 ...the truly fundamental discoveries seldom       |       Henry Spencer
occur where we have decided to look.  --B. Forman  |

From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: Re: Beginner's guide
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 22:06:14 GMT

(Responding to a very old posting that just came to my attention again...)

In article <58q9uc$> (Jeff Greason) writes:
>|> ...Sutton's "Rocket Propulsion
>|> Elements" (currently in its 6th edition) is the standard engineering
>|> textbook in this area. 
>Having gone through this search, a few other books which should be on your
>shelf (In addition to Sutton) if you're getting interested in this field are:
>J. Clark, "Ignition!"
>   An informal history of the history of propellant research, which
>   contains a surprising set of painful lessons learned relevant to
>   launcher design.  Recently has become available from University
>   Microfilms in an academic "facsimile" edition.

Very entertaining reading, good background on a lot of propellants, and
some good general technical info too (for example, the only decent and
consistent explanation I've ever seen of why the optimal mixture ratio 
typically is *not* the one for complete combustion). 

>Huzel & Huang, "Design of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines"
>   (Note the title may be a bit off, I'm doing this from memory)
>   The next level of detail beyond Sutton's book on rocket engines,
>   and also touches on tankage, propellant pressurization, etc.

The 2nd edition, published by the AIAA, is "Modern Engineering for
Design of Liquid-Propellant Rocket Engines".  I do recommend getting
the 2nd edition, as it does have significant added material, although
it is not the complete reworking that one might have wanted (it still
shows its age in places).

>Isakowitz, "International guide to space launch vehicles"
>   (Again, I may have munged the title here)

"International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems".  The second edition
is reasonably current, although the first would still be of some use.

I would also add:

Griffin & French, "Space Vehicle Design".
   This is primarily a satellite-design book, but I'd say it's the most
   *practical* of the satellite books -- less hardware detail than, say,
   Fortescue&Stark, but more discussion of nasty practical realities --
   and much of it is relevant to launchers too.  Another AIAA book.

Hill & Peterson, "Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion", 2nd ed.
   Best book I've seen for the thermodynamics that you really ought to
   have as background for engine design.  Quite a bit of the middle of
   the book is jet-engine stuff that you can skip, but the rest is well
   worth it.  Beware:  some of the performance numbers it quotes for
   existing rocket engines appear to contain units-conversion errors.
"We don't care.  We don't have to.  You'll buy     |       Henry Spencer
whatever we ship, so why bother?  We're Microsoft."|

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