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Episode Info:

  1. This week in SF history

  • 2004 February 26. First ISS EVA with no one inside (

  1. Spaceflight news

  2. Short & Sweet

  3. Questions, comments, corrections

  4. Data Relay: Hypergols

  • Thanks to Arin Cross for researching and presenting this topic! (

  • BFRCs - produced when launches with NTO go wrong (

  • Early hypergolic testing history: Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, by John Drury Clark (

  • Video showing a drop of RFNA into a pool of MMH (

  • See also

    • Investigation into the hypergolic ignition process initiated by low weber number collisions. (

    • Advances in hypergolic propellants: ignition, hydrazine, and hydrogen peroxide research. (

  • Flame structure, a la Arin Cross (

  • Space Shuttle OMS engines used hydrazine and NTO (

  • JWST has hypergolic and monopropellant thrusters ( (PDF:

  • Ariane 5 ECA purges with helium before and after burns ( (

  • GSLV and PSLV use Vikas engine (

    • High-thrust Vikas Engine (HTVE) is now used on GSLV Mk III (

    • Named after Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai. Recommended reading: From Fishing Hamlet to Red Planet: India’s Space Journey (

    • ISRO sent a team of ~50 scientists to France in 1974 to participate in Viking/Ariane development. (

    • Side note: a rag left in a water coolant pipe during installation destroyed a Viking engine in flight (

    • Viking uses transpiration cooling (

  • Lots of work is happening in “green” hypergolics (

    • A mixture of furfuryl alcohol, ethanolamine and copper (II) chloride (fuel) and 70% hydrogen peroxide was tested at one point (PDF:

    • Gelled hypergolics are also an option (

    • Hydrazine in a solid fuel for hybrid application (

  • Further reading

    • Humble, Ronald. Space Propulsion Analysis and Design. United Kingdom: McGraw-Hill Companies,Incorporated, 1995.

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