A New Approach for Single Stage Ascent to Orbit Silane Fuel in a New Vehicle Design 2005-01-3413
Spacecraft designs incorporating a propulsion system powered by a more efficient fuel would greatly reduce the oxidizer to payload ratio. This could be accomplished with a single-stage vehicle that uses air while in the atmosphere and switches to onboard oxidizer only after reaching the upper limit of the atmosphere. In this presentation, a revolutionary new vehicle is proposed that incorporates silane-based fuels into an air-breathing spacecraft design that achieves orbit via low ascent angles, where it then switches to onboard oxidizer. A ceramic and alloy propulsion system takes advantage of the properties of silane, utilizing both the oxygen and the 80% nitrogen of the atmosphere for combustion.