A parametric study of certain low-molecular-weight compounds as nuclear rocket propellants-II: ammonia.

by Firmin Joseph Krieger

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The second in a series of investigations which compare certain chemical compounds for use as possible propellants for nuclear-powered rockets. Although hydrogen, with its high specific impulse, is theoretically the most efficient nuclear rocket propellant, some of its physical properties (namely, its low boiling point and low specific gravity) present formidable logistic and design difficulties. While other compounds being considered are inferior to hydrogen in specific impulse, their physical properties in some cases make them less difficult to work with and, therefore, more desirable than hydrogen as nuclear-rocket propellants. A parametric study, presented in this series, will help to determine what these conditions are. This research memorandum gives the results for ammonia.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.