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The SCRAP experiment will be carried by an Improved Orion rocket. It is capable of delivering 95 kg to 80 km. It has a total length of 5,6 meter and uses 290 kg of solid propellant. Lets have a closer lock at the fuel!

Rockets can have some different types of fuel. The two most common are solid and liquid. The now retired space shuttle used liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen which is the most efficient fuel available today. The problem is that a liquid rocket engine is very expensive since the engine is very complicated.

For that reason, smaller rockets mostly uses solid propellant. It is less efficient but it is cheaper, easy to store and the engines require less attention. Most solid propellants are made of three components. Oxidizer, fuel and binder.

The oxidizer contains all the oxygen needed to burn the propellant. Usually it is a salt of nitrate, chlorate or perchlorate. The most widely used is ammonium perchlorate.

Something must react with the oxygen and the hotter it burns the better. Aluminium is the most common one. When divided into a fine powder it is highly reactive and burns with a white flame.

Since the oxidizer and the fuel are powders a binder in needed to make it a solid grain. Plastics and rubbers are used which will burn and also serve as a fuel even though it does not burn as hot as the aluminium.

Amateur Rocketry
A beautiful but not widely spread hobby is to build rockets from scratch. You will need knowledge from all fields of science like chemistry, aerodynamics, solid mechanics, material science, electronics AND you will need to read what law says about it where you live. Otherwise you will have the police in your rocket workshop with angry faces.

An amateur rocketry club named Raketgruppen IRA was active in Stockholm during the 1970’s with great success. Have a lock at there website or when they launch a rocket that makes 0-1900 km/h in 1,1 sec

Good luck with your project!


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