Paste-like propellant rocket propulsion




The Slurry-type Propellant Rocket Propulsion (or SluRM) works are conducted in new direction of rocket engine-building-development of propulsions using unitary (fuel+oxidizer into one tank) slurry-type propellant (non-hardened solid propellant) with its pressure feeding into combustion chamber. The rocket engine on slurry-type propellant is in the phase of fire tests (for spacecraft) and test development (for LV march motors). The engine on slurry-type propellant is conceptually an updated Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) with new capabilities of deep regulation and multiple restarting while preserving major advantages of SRM and borrowing from SRM some elements of design, materials, solid propellant components, and technologies.


The advanced technology concept has been proposed to commercialize the potentiality of new type of rocket propulsion for wide spectrum of tasks: from small spacecraft attitude correction to large march ones for launch and space vehicles. The SluRM will allow reduce the volume of a propulsion plant in the LV and take more on-board payload to high and stationary orbits.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

The engines have unique capabilities of deep thrust regulation (in an experiment 80-times throttling was realized) and multiple restarting. The engines on paste-like propellant, while solving a number of tasks, have mass-dimensional advantages when it is used in reaction control systems and upper stages of LVs. The use of en-gines on paste-like propellant as main engines for launch vehicles (2nd, 3rd and 4th stages) will allow increase their effectiveness by optimizing the trajectory of payload injection by engine throttling during the whole flight. The use of promptly and deeply regulated engine on paste-like propellant with multiple restarting as a booster, an engine for soft landing on the surface of space objects (planets) and as actuators of reaction control system, while solving a number of tasks, will improve mass-dimensional characteristics of spacecraft.

The use of these new type of motors as regulated main engines and as control system propulsions of launch ve-hicles and spacecraft will allow increase their power effi-ciency. Completion of development of the engines on paste-like propellant will allow enter to the market of space hardware and commercial services with a new class of rocket motors allowing to increase the effectiveness of payload injection by light and medium - class launch ve-hicles. The Laboratory of Advanced Jet Propulsion in co-operation with R&D Power Engineering Institute found new technical solutions on initial and multiple ignitions, combustion of slurry-type propellant, regulation of propellant consumption, prevention of flame from coming from the combustion chamber into the feeding system, which effectiveness was confirmed by numerous firing tests of experimental and pilot engines on slurry-type propellant. This is a unique scientific-technical experience that together with Yuzhnoye’s developments of solid propellant and liquid rocket motors allows  develop the engines on paste-like propellant for different purposes.


General views of real and artistic PRMs


General views of real PRM                    General views of artistic PRM


Technical Characteristics


                                              Prototype 1          Prototype 2    
Thrust (SL), N ~ 250 ~ 3 000
Fuel mass, kg 12 36
Pressure into CC, MPa 2 … 6 4
Specific impulse, s 272 ~ 285
Fuel mass flow, kg/s 0.1 … 1.04 1.9 … 2.5
CC products temp., K 1 300 - 2 000 ~ 2 900
Throttling modulation, % 800 350
Start faultless, % 100 100


Stage of Development

The SluRM plants for spacecraft attitude control (blue color picture) and planet lander / space tug were fully completed and many times tested. Currently there is development of the SluRM for space conditions usage with all supporting components, new type of gas-generator, control electronics and nozzle (schematic picture).
The SluRM has one joint patent with Yuzhnoye SDO and 5 patents of the LAJP.