Vitaly V. Yemets, Mykola M. Dron', Olena S. Kositsyna


The perspective way of reducing the cost of transport space operations is analyzed. It is shown that using propellant tanks polyethylene covers as fuel is the most effective way to reduce the cost of launching a satellite to low near-Earth orbits. The specific features of the incendiary (autophage) small launch vehicles are the possibility of their implementation in the single-stage version and the lack of design of the tank compartments in the traditional sense that seems promising for the development of launch vehicles for microsatellites. The influence of metal-containing polyethylene fuels additives on the specific thrust impulse autophage engines is investigated. 

Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene in combination with oxygen oxidants is a suitable material for the production of incendiary small launch vehicles tank covers by criteria such as theoretical specific impulse, durability, production and processing manufacturability, chemical resistance, safety for the environment, and ability to almost 100% thermal destruction with the formation of gaseous products. The mass and energy gains from the implementation of the concept of the tank covers combustion will not be reduced because of the energy and other characteristics of the fuel.


launch vehicle, autophage launch vehicle, high molecular weight polyethylene, metal-containing additives, hydrocarbon fuel, specific thrust impulse


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