Some Fundamental Considerations Relating to Advanced Rocket Propulsion Systems

by Gaylord Huth, Bruno Augenstein, Robert Holbrook

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A discussion, in general terms, of the problems of maximizing specific impulse, acceleration, and burnout velocity for jet-propelled vehicles. Emphasis is placed on the limitations imposed by the prime energy source as velocities become relativistic. Two specific means of obtaining very high jet velocities are examined: ion acceleration by electrostatic fields and acceleration of a current- carrying conductor by a magnetic field. Only constant-thrust vehicles are considered.

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