LV-N "Nerv" Atomic Rocket Motor

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LV-N "Nerv" Atomic Rocket Motor
Part image
Liquid fuel engine by
Jebediah Kerman's Junkyard and Spacecraft Parts Co
Radial size Small
Cost (total) 10 000.00 Funds
Mass (total) 3.00 t
Drag 0.2
Max. Temp. 2500 K
Impact Tolerance 12 m/s
Research Tech tree nuclear propulsion.png Nuclear Propulsion
Unlock cost 45 000 Funds
Since version 0.17
Part configuration liquidEngineLV-N
Liquid fuel engine
Maximum thrust (1 atm) 13.88 kN
(vacuum) 60.00 kN
Isp (1 atm) 185 s
(vacuum) 800 s
Fuel consumption 1.53 Units of fuel/s


Thrust vectoring × No
Testing Environments
On the surface ✓ Yes
In the ocean × No
On the launchpad × No
In the atmosphere ✓ Yes
Sub orbital ✓ Yes
In an orbit ✓ Yes
On an escape ✓ Yes
Docked × No
Test by staging ✓ Yes
Manually testable ✓ Yes


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which uses a fission reactor to heat liquid hydrogen and propel it out of the rocket nozzle; however, as of 0.24[outdated], it is still a hybrid design which is powered by liquid fuel and oxidizer.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.

Usage

The LV-N has low thrust and a very high mass, giving it the worst thrust-to-weight ratio of all liquid engines. Its Isp while in atmosphere is also quite poor, making it not recommended for operation within atmospheres or for landings on larger bodies.

However, when outside the atmosphere, its efficiency becomes superb with a vacuum Isp of 800 s, by far the highest of any liquid fuel engine. This remarkable efficiency makes it quite popular for upper stages as it is ideal for interplanetary travel.

It will overheat when run at full throttle, but it will usually stabilize before completely filling the overheat bar. As of version 0.23, it will quickly overheat and explode when placed directly 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

0.24
  • Cost increased from 1700 to 8700 (and made meaningful)
0.22
  • Alternator added, engine now gains 5.0 electricity.
0.17
  • Initial release