Your typical 375,000 pound thrust Space
Shuttle Main Enginge (SSME), viewed here from the inside out. Wouldn't
want to be in this particular spot when this baby kicks in. This blast
furnace burns liquid oxygen (LO2) and liquid hydrogen (LH2)
in a 6 to 1 ratio as in 6 parts LO2 to 1 part LH2.
Very much the same as the mixture of gin to vermouth in an AZooNY.com
Now the Shuttle engine from the outside.
Did you know they run Liquid Hydrogen around the nozzle to keep it cool?
Seems a bit extreme running -423o F Liquid Hydrogen around
Quite the plumbing job. Would hate to
accidentally get the hot and cold water lines reversed.
An Ion thruster emits just a pin-prick
of thrust but constantly doing so builds up tremendous velocity over
time. This works great - untill you need to stop (the second half
of any mission has the engine flipped aroud, running the other way to
slow down :-)). This wouldn't be too practical for a trip over
to the local shopping mall (unless, of course, it's within the Alpha