Introduction

RocketCat Cheat Sheet

Here is your handy-dandy cheat-sheet of rocket engines. Without one of these, your spaceship ain't a spaceship. And if any smart-alec asks about a reactionless drive, it is atomic wedgie time.

Use this as a jumping-off point, there is no way I can keep this up-to-date. Google is your friend!

There are two types of engines, three if you count Torchships.

Muscle rocket engines have high thrust but low specific impulse, they burn rubber like nitro-fueled funny car with its buns on fire but the gas mileage sucks rocks through a garden hose. The fuel tanks will go empty in about ten minutes flat. Use these engines for blast off from a planet or when you gotta have high acceleration.

Fuel Economy rocket engines have low thrust but high specific impulse, they push about as hard as asthmatic hummingbird but you can tool around the entire solar system with just a teacup of propellant. Use these for orbit-to-orbit flights where you are not in a hurry.

Some engines can shift gears, trading thrust for specific impulse and vicey versy also.

And Torchships break the rules by having both high thrust and high specific impulse. Everybody wants 'em but nobody has 'em. The only candidates on the horizon that might actually be built some day are the Orion Drive, Zubrin's Nuclear Salt Water Rocket, and maybe Medusa. Needless to say these are all poster children for Jon's Law.

I'll point out a few of the more useful items on the sheet:

  • Aluminum-Oxygen is feeble, but is great for a lunar base (the raw materials are in the dirt).
  • Microwave Electrothermal has low thrust. But it has great exhaust velocity, can use water propellant, is cheap, is simple, is reliable, is easily repaired, has reasonable power requirements, and you can cluster the blasted things to increase thrust without the little monsters interfering with each other.
  • VASIMR is the current favorite among ion-drive fans. Use this with orbit-to-orbit ships that never land on a planet. It can "shift gears" like an automobile.
  • Solar Moth might be a good emergency back-up engine.
  • Nuclear Thermal Solid Core (an early "atomic rocket") is better than feeble chemical rockets, but not as much as you'd expect.
  • Nuclear Thermal Vapor Core is what you design along the way while learning how to make a gas core atomic rocket.
  • Nuclear Thermal Gas Core Open-Cycle is a full-blown honest-to-Heinlein atomic rocket, spraying glowing radioactive death in its exhaust.
  • Nuclear Thermal Gas Core Closed-Cycle is an attempt to have the advantages of both nuclear solid core and gas core, but often has the disadvantages of both. It has about half the exhaust velocity of an open-cycle atomic rocket.
  • Orion Nuclear Pulse is a rocket driven by detonating hundreds of nuclear bombs. If you can get past freaking out about the "bomb" part, it actually has many advantages. Don't miss the Medusa variant.
  • Magneto Inertial Fusion This is the best fusion-power rocket design to date.
  • Zubrin's Nuclear Salt Water This is the most over-the-top extreme rocket. Imagine a continuously detonating Orion drive. There are many scientist who question how the rocket can possibly survive turning the drive on.

But when it comes to high specific impulse engines, they generally all have incredibly low thrust. For purposes of comparison a hummingbird produces a thrust of about 0.05 newtons (47.3±5.5 mN). So the NSTAR ion drive used by the DAWN mission had a thrust of about 1.8 hummingbirds.

For more fun a snail can accelerate at about 0.008 m/s2, so the DAWN mission had an initial acceleration of about 0.00837 snails.

Initial Notes

There is a nice basic overview of propulsion systems here.

You can spend lots of time researching spacecraft propulsion systems. But you are in luck, I've got some data for you. This is from various places I found around the internet, and no, I didn't keep track of where I got them. Use at your own risk.

If you don't like the values in the table, do some research to see if you can discover values you like better. Also note that the designs in the list are probably optimized for high exhaust velocities at the expense of thrust. There is a chance that some can be altered to give enough thrust for lift-off at the expense of exhaust velocity. Or you can just give up and go beg Mr. Tyco Bass for some atomic tri-tetramethylbenzacarbonethylene. Four drops should do the trick.

Some engines require electricity in order to operate. These have their megawatt requirements listed under "Power Requirements". With these engines, the Engine Mass value includes the mass of the power plant (unless the value includes "+pp", which means the mass value does NOT include the mass of the power plant). The power plant mass can be omitted if the spacecraft relies on beamed power from a remote power station. Alas, I could find no figures on the mass of the power plant. If the plant is nuclear, it probably has a mass of around 0.5 to 10 tons per megawatt. If it is beamed power the mass is of course zero. Efficiency is the percentage of the power requirements megawatts that are actually turned into thrust. The rest becomes waste heat and has to be removed with heat radiators.

T/W >1.0 = Thrust to Weight ratio greater than one? This boils down to: can this engine be used to take off from Terra's surface? If the answer is "no" use it only for orbit to orbit maneuvers. It is calculated by figuring if the given thrust can accelerate the engine mass greater than one gee of acceleration. As a general rule, a practical spacecraft capable of lifting off from the Earth's surface will require a T/W of about 50 to 75.


SUV class and Economy class

Most propulsion systems fall into two categories: SUV and economy. SUV propulsion is like an SUV automobile: big and muscular, but the blasted thing gets a pathetic three miles to the gallon. Economy propulsion has fantastic fuel economy, but has trouble climbing low hills. In the world of rockets, good fuel economy means a high "specific impulse" (Isp) and high exhaust velocity. And muscle means a high thrust.

The technical terms for SUV high-thrust + low-specific-impulse are Specific-Impulse Limited and High-Thrust Systems. Typical examples are chemical and solid-core nuclear thermal. These usually create the exhaust velocity by thermal means (heat), so they are limited by how hot you can get the exhaust (limited by chemical energy or limited by the melting point of the rocket engine).

The technical terms for Economy low-thrust + high-specific-impulse are Specific-Mass Limited, Low-Thrust Systems, and Power-Limited Systems. Typical example is an ion drive. "Specific Mass" or "Alpha" (α) is the mass of the propulsion system divided by the thrust power. These are usually electrically powered rockets, which is why they are power-limited.

The only vaguely possible propulsion system that has both high exhaust velocity and high thrust is the Nuclear Salt Water Rocket, and not a few scientist have questions about its feasibility. Well, actually there is also Project Orion, but that has other problems (see below). In science fiction, one often encounters the legendary "fusion drive" or "torchship", which is a high exhaust velocity + high thrust propulsion system that modern science isn't sure is even possible.

With ion engines, chemical engines, and nuclear torches we're facing a classic Newton's Third Law problem. Somehow the exhaust needs to have sufficient momentum for the opposite reaction to give the ship a good acceleration.

Chemical rockets solve the problem by expelling a ton of mass at a relatively low velocity. (high propellant mass flow but low exhaust velocity: SUV)

Ion drives expel a tiny amount of mass, so to get anywhere they get it moving FAST, but even at gigawatts of power they get a measly 0.0001g. (low propellant mass flow but high exhaust velocity: Economy)

Torch drives take a small-to-moderate amount of mass and use nuclear destruction to get it moving insanely fast. (medium propellant mass flow and high exhaust velocity: Torch) They're the only ones (insert disclaimer) with enough power per unit of reaction mass to get 0.3g constant acceleration conveniently. Even a perfect ion drive would need a phenomenal (read: impossible) amount of power input to match the performance of a nuclear explosion.

(A low propellant mass flow and low exhaust velocity engine would be utterly worthless)

From On Torchships comment by Eric (2010)
SPACE TOOLKIT

(ed note: this is from the "Mass Driver" scifi universe featured in the Fate Space Toolkit role playing game)


Delta
The amount of acceleration needed to change one’s vector to a new, desired velocity. From the mathematical term Δv (“delta-vee”), meaning “change in velocity.” Also, figuratively, the amount of effort one needs to exert to avoid trouble, complications, or sticky situations.
Grind
Verb. To begin a change in delta. Used figuratively or literally.
Grinda
A space-rated engine, usually a VASIMR, capable of huge changes in delta, but which take, by greenbelt (groundhog) standards, a long time to complete the grind (low-thrust + high-specific-impulse). By extension, an individual who is either ploddingly slow or, conversely, incredibly patient in their ability to complete long-term machinations.
Sparkle
Verb. To emit or expose something to a harmful dose of radiation (a danger common to nuclear thermal rockets).
Thumpa
A chemical rocket engine, so called because it makes a loud rumble, pressing everyone backward for a short sound within the hab, then doesn’t make much change in delta (high-thrust + low-specific-impulse). Figuratively, anything or anyone who makes a lot of noise or causes a lot of harm, but doesn’t have much effect.

(ed note: in this background, the wealthy corporations use grinda VASIMRs in their expensive spacecraft, while the dirt-poor asteroid miners use cranky radioactive nuclear thermal rockets in their broken-down mining ships. Nobody except teenagers or the desperate use thumpa chemical rockets)

The Drive Table

Note that this table only contains engines for which I have data for the engine's thrust. There are a few for which I only have the specific impulse (e.g., Positron Ablative, LH2/Fluorine, Photon, etc.). These do not appear on the table but they have entries below.

All drives listed in the table whose names end in "MAX" require some sort of technological breakthrough to to prevent the engine from vaporizing and/or absurdly large reaction chamber sizes.

If these figures result in disappointing rocket performance, in the name of science fiction you can tweak some of them and claim it was due to a technological advance. You are allowed to tweak anything who's name does not end in "MAX". You can alter the Thrust, Engine Mass, and/or the Eff, but no other values. If there is a corresponding "MAX" entry for the engine you are tweaking, you cannot alter any of the values above the "MAX" entry (i.e., you are not allowed to tweak NTR-SOLID-DUMBO's thrust above 7,000,000, which is the value in the NTR-SOLID MAX entry).

The engines are sorted by thrust power, since that depends on both exhaust velocity and thrust. So engines that high in both of those parameters will be towards the end of the list. This is useful for designers trying to make spacecraft that can both blast-off from a planet's surface and do efficient orbital transfers.

As Philip Eklund noted in his game High Frontier, the engines fall into three rough categories: megawatt thrusters (thrust power), gigawatt thrusters, and terawatt thrusters. Though if you want to be pedantic the radioisotope, ArcJet, and HOPE MPD engines are kilowatt thrusters. The resistojet is a hectowatt thruster and the poor little DAWN NSTAR is a pathetic watt thruster.

If one was trying to design a more reasonable strictly orbit-to-orbit spacecraft one would want the engine list sorted by exhaust velocity. And surface-to-orbit designers would want the list sorted by thrust. Sorry, you'll have to do that yourself.

PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
DAWN mission NSTARESTAT1.37 W30,4113,1009.00e-05263.60e-07
ResistojetETHERM725 W2,9002961
RadioisotopeNTR SOLID5.85 kW7,8007952
ArcJetETHERM20 kW20,0002,0392
HOPE Cargo MPDEMAG432 kW78,5008,00211
HOPE Tanker MPDEMAG432 kW78,5008,00211
START OF MEGAWATT THRUSTERS
PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
HOPE Crew MPDEMAG1.1 MW78,5008,00228
Magneto Inertial Fusion (low)PULSE2.6 MW50,4205,140103
VASIMR (low gear)EMAG5.9 MW29,0002,95640010,0000.004
VASIMR (high gear)EMAG5.9 MW294,00029,9694010,0004.08e-04
VASIMR (med gear)EMAG5.8 MW147,00014,9858010,0008.15e-04
Space Shuttle RCSCHEM LIQ6.0 MW3,1003163,8704106.620
Mirror SteamerBEAM12.8 MW9,8101,0002,60020,9770.013
Monatomic-H MITEENTR SOLID15.0 MW12,7501,3002,3502001.198
HybridMITEEETHERM15.0 MW17,6601,8001,70010,0000.017
PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
AIMPULSE16.5 MW598,00060,95855
Solar MothBEAM18.0 MW9,0009174,0001004.077
Antimatter-Driven SailNTR FRAG19.5 MW73,6007,5005301090.496
Umbrella ShipESTAT19.7 MW80,4428,200490
ArcJetETHERM31.4 MW19,6202,0003,20022,3690.015
Hall EffectESTAT32.4 MW19,6202,0003,30085,4690.004
Magneto Inertial FusionPULSE36.0 MW49,0004,9951,4709,1000.016
Pulsed Plasmoid ThrusterPULSE43.2 MW78,4808,0001,10083,6110.001
Ponderomotive VASIMREMAG44.2 MW39,2404,0002,25043,7960.005
Wakefield E-BeamETHERM45.1 MW19,6202,0004,60041,8370.011
Ablative LaserBEAM47.1 MW39,2404,0002,40022,2220.011
MPD T-WaveEMAG47.1 MW78,4808,0001,20082,6750.001
Tungsten ResistojetETHERM48.6 MW9,8101,0009,90042,6010.024
NASA space tugCHEM LIQ49.3 MW4,40044922,400199,6000.011
Mass DriverOTHER51.0 MW9,8101,00010,400163,0000.007
Ion DriveESTAT56.7 MW78,4808,0001,444120,1490.001
MET Steamer AmplitronsETHERM58.9 MW9,8101,00012,000123,3020.010
NERVA (CO or N2)NTR SOLID64.9 MW2,64927049,00010,0000.499
LPNTR High GearNTR SOLID65 MW13,2001,3509,8008351.2
Basic MITEENTR SOLID68.7 MW9,8101,00014,0002007.136
NERVA (CO2)NTR SOLID81.0 MW3,30633749,00010,0000.499
NERVA (H2O)NTR SOLID99.0 MW4,04241249,00010,0000.499
HOPE FFRENTR FRAG111.2 MW5,170,000527,01343
Werka FFRENTR FRAG111.2 MW5,170,000527,01343113,4003.90e-05
NERVA (NH3)NTR SOLID125.0 MW5,10152049,00010,0000.499
D-D Fusion InertialPULSE125.6 MW78,4808,0003,200243,3330.001
NERVA (CH4)NTR SOLID154.8 MW6,31864449,00010,0000.499
Twisted Ribbon RD-0140NTR SOLID155.7 MW8,83090035,2802,0001.798
Dusty Plasma (550AU)NTR FRAG165.0 MW15,000,0001,529,052229,0002.49e-04
PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
(MW)
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
Colloid ThrusterESTAT17243,0004,3838,00020,0000.041
LARSNTR LIQUID19619,6202,00020,0001,0002.039
NERVA (H2)NTR SOLID1988,09382549,00010,0000.499
Laser ThermalBEAM26040,0004,07713,00020,0000.066
LPNTR Low GearNTR SOLID29211,9001,21049,0008356.0
Mass DriverOTHER30030,0003,05820,000150,0000.014
Twisted Ribbon NPPSNTR SOLID3079,02492068,0001,8003.851
LighterCHEM LIQ3094,410450140,000
LANTR (high gear)NTR SOLID3099,22194067,000
SNRE-classNTR SOLID3228,83090073,0002,4003.010
Magneto Inertial Fusion (hi)PULSE34850,4205,14013,800
H-B Cat InertialPULSE369156,96016,0004,70065,0890.007
Aluminum/LOX rocketCHEM LIQ3882,649270292,60056,0000.533
NERVA (H)NTR SOLID39216,0001,63149,00010,0000.499
MICF Fusion (cDD 100/sec)FUSION42336,3003,70023,300
Kuck MosquitoCHEM LIQ4844,400449220,000
Vortex Confined (H2)NTR GAS OP49419,6202,00050,400114,1160.045
Pewee-classNTR SOLID511.59,200938111,2003,2403.499
LH2/LOX rocketCHEM LIQ5404,905500220,00026,6670.841
VCR Light Bulb (H2)NTR GAS CL55319,6202,00056,40072,5660.079
LANTR (low gear)NTR SOLID5846,347647184,000
Dual-mode Fission (H2)NTR SOLID6129,8101,000124,70033,0000.385
H-Li6 FusorFUSION658.319,6202,00067,10054,0000.127
Cermet NERVA (H2)NTR SOLID6599,8101,000134,40032,5460.421
Z-Pinch MicrofissionPULSE667156,96016,0008,500193,3330.004
Afterburner FFRENTR FRAG730313,90032,0004,651268,9610.002
Dual-mode PB (H2)NTR SOLID8479,8101,000172,70058,0000.304
Bimodal NTR Solid (NASA)NTR SOLID8988,980915200,0006,6723.056
MICF Fusion (DT 100/sec)FUSION91144,2004,50041,200
START OF GIGAWATT THRUSTERS
PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
(MW)
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
IonESTAT1,050210,00021,40710,000400,0000.003
D-T FusionFUSION1,18822,0002,243108,00010,0001.101
NERVA Deriv (H2)NTR SOLID1,3508,085824334,06110,1003.372
Antimatter BottlePULSE1,36278,4808,00034,700180,0000.020
Metastable He*CHEM1,37643,0004,38364,00010,0000.652
Resuable Nuclear ShuttleNTR SOLID1,3768,000815344,000
Free Radical Hydrogen1,45039,2404,00073,900
Metastable HeliumCHEM1,56729,4303,000106,500
n-6Li MicrofissionPULSE1,570156,96016,00020,000106,6670.019
Pebble Bed (H2)NTR SOLID1,5909,530971333,6171,70020.005
Vapor Core (H2)NTR VAPOR1,6179,800999330,0006,8304.925
Twisted ribbon NTRNTR SOLID1,6509,420960330,0005,2606.4
3He-D Mirror CellFUSION1,664313,92032,00010,600106,6670.010
HOPE MTFFUSION2,005691,46070,4905,798116,0210.005
Cermet (H2)NTR SOLID2,0309,120930445,2679,0005.043
D-T Fusion TokamakFUSION2,23166,8006,80966,800197,0000.035
Widmer Mars MissionNTR SOLID2,3208,000815580,000
p-Nerva (NRX)AM SOLID2,37010,7901,100440,00010,9404.100
Antimatter Solid maxAM SOLID2,37410,7911,100440,000
Dusty Plasma (0.5LY)NTR FRAG2,58015,000,0001,529,0523449,0000.004
Proton RD-253 x1CHEM LIQ2,8363,1003161,830,0001,260148.051
PuFF Pulsed Fission Fusion2,880196,00019,98029,40055,5600.054
Discovery II (MC Toroidal)FUSION3,123347,00035,37218,000
MagnetoplasmadynamicEMAG3,140314,00032,00820,0001,540,0000.001
HOPE Z-PinchPULSE3,617189,78019,34638,12095,1380.041
RaptorCHEM LIQ3,7143,7303801,993,000
HELIOS 2nd StageNTR SOLID3,8267,800795981,000
NTR Gas/Closed (H2)NTR GAS CL4,54020,4052,080445,00056,8000.799
Dumbo (CO or N2)NTR SOLID4,6362,6492703,500,0005,00071.356
Atomic V-2NTR SOLID4,7148,9809151,050,0004,20025.484
Fusion Asteroid MinerFUSION4,800100,00010,19048,00010,0000.979
ORION FissionPULSE5,65443,0004,383263,000200,0000.134
Dumbo (CO2)NTR SOLID5,7863,3063373,500,0005,00071.356
THS Fusion Pulse high gearPULSE6,000300,00030,58140,0004,0001.019
THS Fusion Pulse low gearPULSE6,000150,00015,29180,0004,0002.039
PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
(MW)
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
Dumbo (H2O)NTR SOLID7,0744,0424123,500,0005,00071.356
Antiproton SailNTR FRAG8,05930,411,0003,100,000530
Dumbo (NH3)NTR SOLID8,9275,1015203,500,0005,00071.356
ORION FusionPULSE10,65873,0007,441292,000200,0000.149
Dumbo (CH4)NTR SOLID11,0566,3186443,500,0005,00071.356
Saturn-V F-1 x1CHEM LIQ11,5412,9823047,740,5009,15386.206
ACMF (ICAN-II)PULSE11,919132,43513,500180,00027,0000.680
Space Shuttle SSME x3CHEM LIQ12,1154,4444535,452,2009,53158.313
Dumbo (H2)NTR SOLID14,1638,0938253,500,0005,00071.356
Solid rocketCHEM SOLID15,0003,00030610,000,000
Proton RD-253 x6CHEM LIQ16,2283,10031610,470,0007,560141.174
VISTAPULSE20,400170,00017,329240,000
Project OrionPULSE21,73119,6202,0002,215,200203,6801.109
Nuclear DC-X NERVANTR SOLID27,2729,8101,0005,560,000199,6002.840
Dumbo (H)NTR SOLID28,00016,0001,6313,500,0005,00071.356
Mini-Mag Orion (DRM-3)PULSE29,85393,0009,480642,000199,6000.328
Antimatter Plasma (H2O)AM PLASMA29,890980,00099,89861,000500,0000.012
H-B FusionFUSION29,890980,00099,89861,000300,0000.021
Mini-Mag Orion (DRM-1)PULSE29,90693,1649,497642,000119,0460.550
APCP Space Shuttle SRB x2CHEM SOLID31,2002,60026524,000,0001,180,0002.073
ORION USAF 10mPULSE32,90032,9003,3542,000,000107,9001.889
NTR Solid MAXNTR SOLID42,00012,0001,2237,000,00015,00047.571
Gasdynamic MirrorFUSION46,0601,960,000199,79647,000
Nuclear DC-X LANTRNTR SOLID49,2065,90060116,680,000199,6008.519
NTR Liquid maxNTR GAS OP56,00016,0001,6317,000,00070,00010.194
LunaNTR LIQUID56,65010,3001,05011,000,0009,000124.589
PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
(MW)
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
Saturn-V F-1 x5CHEM LIQ58,0543,00030638,702,50045,76586.206
NTR Gas/Open (H2)NTR GAS OP61,25035,0003,5683,500,000200,0001.784
TankerNTR GAS OP61,80335,3163,6003,500,000
AV:T high gearPULSE102,138832,92884,906245,250
NTR Gas/Open 2nd GenNTR GAS OP125,00050,0005,0975,000,000200,0002.548
Mini-Mag OrionPULSE146,795157,00016,0041,870,000199,6000.955
NTR Gas MAXNTR GAS OP147,00098,0009,9903,000,00015,00020.387
NTR Gas/Coaxial (H2)NTR GAS OP157,15617,6581,80017,800,000127,00014.287
Antimatter Plasma (H2)AM PLASMA192,0807,840,000799,18549,000500,0000.010
He3-D FusionFUSION192,0807,840,000799,18549,0001,200,0000.004
MC-Fusion MAXFUSION200,0008,000,000815,49450,0006008.495
P-jet MagnetoInertial (con)FUSION309,3501,189,790121,280520,000
Salt-water ZubrinNTR GAS OP341,26678,4808,0008,696,900495,4671.789
NSWR (20% UTB)NTR GAS OP425,70066,0006,72812,900,00033,00039.848
FS Z-Pinch (p-11Be)FUSION442,0001,300,000132,500680,000
Liberty ShipNTR GAS CL560,70030,0003,05837,380,000378,00010.080
FS Z-Pinch (D-3He)FUSION577,5003,500,000356,800330,000
Cargo Tug SlingshotESTAT764,400280,00028,5425,460,000
Start Of Terawatt Thrusters
PropulsionCodeThrust
Power
(MW)
Exhaust
Velocity
(m/s)
Specific
Impulse
(s)
Thrust
(N)
Engine
Mass
(kg)
T/W
IBS AgamemnonESTAT1,100,000220,00022,42610,000,000
ORION battleshipPULSE1,560,00039,0003,97680,000,0001,700,0004.797
AV:T low gearPULSE2,541,895104,11610,61348,828,125
P-jet MagnetoInertial (med)FUSION2,989,0514,461,270454,7701,340,000
Ghost StarshipFUSION4,237,9205,297,400540,0001,600,000
Epstein DriveFUSION5,500,00011,000,0001,100,0001,000,000
P-jet MagnetoInertial (opt)FUSION7,941,0008,922,480909,5301,780,000
Firefly Starship (Z-Pinch)FUSION12,245,50012,890,0001,313,9701,900,000
ORION 10k ton advPULSE24,000,000120,00012,232400,000,0003,250,00012.546
NSWR (90% UTB) MAXNTR GAS OP30,550,0004,700,000479,10313,000,000
ORION MAXPULSE39,200,0009,800,000998,9818,000,0008,000101.937
Enzmann StarshipFUSION343,570,50011,700,0001,192,70058,730,000
IC-Fusion MAXPULSE500,000,00010,000,0001,019,368100,000,0001,000,00010.194
Antimatter Beam MAXAM BEAM500,000,000100,000,00010,193,68010,000,00010,000101.937
Frisbee StarshipAM BEAM586,413,00099,900,00010,183,48611,740,000

The details about each engine are on subsequent pages.

Beamed Power

This section has been moved here

Laser Thermal

This section has been moved here

Laser Sail

This section has been moved here

Solar Moth

This section has been moved here

Chemical

This section has been moved here

Storeable vs Cryogenic

This section has been moved here

Solid Rocket

This section has been moved here

Liquid Rocket

This section has been moved here

Methane-Oxygen

This section has been moved here

Hydrogen-Fluorine

This section has been moved here

Hydrogen-Oxygen

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RP-1 - Oxygen

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Hypergolic Fuels

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Hybrid Rocket

Aluminum-Oxygen

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ISRU Metal-Oxygen

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Metastable

Atomic Hydrogen

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Metallic Hydrogen

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Metastable He*

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Metastable He IV-A

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Electromagnetic (Plasma)

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Electrodeless plasma

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Helicon Double Layer (HDLT)

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Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD)

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Pulsed Inductive (PIT)

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Pulsed Plasma (PPT)

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Pulsed Plasmoid

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VASIMR

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Electrostatic

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Electrostatic Propellant

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Colloid

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Field-Emission Electric (FEEP)

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Hall Effect (HET)

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Ion

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Radioisotope Electrostatic

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( IBS Agamemnon )

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Electrothermal

ArcJet

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Hybrid ArcJet

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Microwave Electrothermal

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Resistojet

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Wakefield E-Beam

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Sail

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Electric Sail

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Magnetic Sail

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M2P2

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MagBeam

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Photon Sail

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Plasma Magnet

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Q-Drive

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Other

Mass Driver

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Photon

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Tachyon

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( Langston Photon )

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( Beer )

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Antimatter

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Antimatter Energy

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Radiation Shielding

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Solid Core

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Gas Core

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Plasma Core

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Antimatter Bottle

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Beam Core

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Positron Ablative

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Fusion

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Fusion Fuels

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Deuterium-Tritium

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Hydrogen-Boron

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Helium3-Deuterium

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Confinement

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Inertial Confinement

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Electrostatic Inertial

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Magnetic Confinement

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Linear Fusion

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Toroidal Fusion

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Fusion Engines

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Pure Fusion Engines

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Afterburner Fusion Engines

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Dual-Mode Fusion Engines

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Nuclear Magnetic Spin Alignment

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( STARFIRE Fusion Afterburner )

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( AV:T Fusion )

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( THS Fusion Pulse )

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( Epstein Drive )

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Nuclear Thermal

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Solid Core

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NERVA

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Pewee-class

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SNRE-class

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NERVA Derivative

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DUMBO

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Pebble Bed

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Cermet

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Pulsed Solid-core NTR

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Project Timberwind

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Russian Twisted Ribbon

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Low Pressure NTR

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LANTR

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Bi-Modal NTR

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MITEE

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Basic

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Monatomic H

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Hybrid

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Liquid Core

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LARS

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Droplet Core

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Vapor Core

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Gas Core

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Closed Cycle

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NASA Report

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UAC Report

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Pulsed Close Cycle

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Open Cycle

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General Open Cycle

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Hybrid-Fuel

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Coaxial

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Vortex Confined

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Wheel Flow

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Nuclear Salt Water

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Fission Fragment

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Fission Fragment

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Afterburner Fission Fragment

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Fission Sail

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Antimatter-Driven Sail

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Pulse

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Orion

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Orion Thrust and Isp

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Orion Environmental Impact

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Zeta-Pinch

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Zeta-Pinch Fission

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Mini-Mag Orion

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Z-pinch Microfission

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n-Li6 Microfission

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Zeta-Pinch Fusion

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PuFF Pulsed Fission Fusion

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Medusa

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Inertial Confinement

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Magneto Inertial Fusion

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Plasma Jet Magneto Inertial

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Antimatter Bottle

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Antimatter catalyzed

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AIM

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ACMF

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Watch the Heat

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Atomic Rockets notices

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This week's featured addition is FAST TRANSITS TO MARS USING ELECTRIC PROPULSION

This week's featured addition is DEUTERIUM MICROBOMB PROPULSION

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