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LV-N Atomic Rocket Motor

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LV-N Atomic Rocket Motor
Part image
by Jebediah Kerman's Junkyard and Spaceship Parts Co.
Cost 1700 ¤
Mass (total) 2.25 t
Drag 0.2
Max. Temp. 4000 K
Impact Tolerance 12 m/s
Research Nuclear Propulsion
Since version 0.17
Part configuration nuclearEngine
Maximum thrust 60 kN
Isp (1 atm) 220 s
(vacuum) 800 s
Fuel consumption (1 atm) 5.55 l/s
(vacuum) 1.53 l/s
Thrust vectoring 0.5 °

The LV-N Atomic Rocket Motor is a low-thrust, high-efficiency rocket engine. It is modeled after the real-world nuclear thermal rocket, which uses a fission reactor to heat liquid hydrogen and propel it out of the rocket nozzle; however, as of version 0.23[outdated], it is still a hybrid design which is powered by liquid fuel and oxidizer. This is largely due to programming constraints, as stated in its parts.cfg file, although the real-world equivalent could use other liquids for propulsion, but then with a lower efficiency.

Contents

Usage

The LV-N has a quite low thrust (the LV-909 being the only engine in its size-class with less power) and with 2.25 tons a very high mass, giving it the worst thrust-to-weight ratio of all liquid-fuel engines. Its fuel efficiency while in the atmosphere is also rather poor. Due to those factors it is not recommended to use this engine to escape atmosphere or even the gravity of large moons.

But as soon as it gets out of the atmosphere, its fuel efficiency becomes superb with a vacuum Isp of 800 s. The best specific impulse of any liquid-fueled engine. Only the non liquid fueled PB-ION Electric Propulsion System is better but with even less thrust. This remarkable efficiency makes it quite popular for interplanetary travel.

It will overheat, but it will usually stop at about ⅓ through the overheat bar. As of version 0.23, it will quickly overheat and explode when placed under a Rockomax Jumbo-64 Fuel Tank.

Description

Despite the big scary trefoil painted onto the side of this engine, its radioactive exhaust, and tendency to overheat, the LV-N Atomic Rocket Motor is harmless. Mostly.

Jebediah Kerman's Junkyard and Spaceship Parts Co.

Yes, I know this is wrong. NTRs don't actually burn fuel and oxidizer, but we don't want to jump into making separate tanks for the two yet.

Excerpt from the part.cfg

Trivia

  • The description of this part is a reference to the Douglas Adams humorous sci-fi novel "Mostly Harmless"

Changes

0.22
  • Alternator added, engine now gains 5.0 electricity.
0.17
  • Initial release
Default parts