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Deutsch: Antrieb / Español: Propulsión / Português: Propulsão / Français: Propulsion / Italiano: Propulsione /

Propulsion is the generation of force to launch an object, which is typically a rocket.

Spacecraft propulsion is any method used to accelerate spacecraft and artificial satellites. Most spacecrafts of today are using chemical rockets for launching.

Propulsion in the aerospace context refers to the systems and technologies used to generate the force necessary to move a spacecraft or aircraft through the air or space. These systems can include engines, motors, and other devices that convert energy into thrust to propel the vehicle forward.

Examples of propulsion systems used in aerospace include:

  • Chemical propulsion: systems that use chemical reactions to generate thrust, such as liquid rocket engines, solid rocket motors and hybrid rocket motors
  • Electric propulsion: systems that use electric energy to generate thrust, such as ion thrusters and Hall thrusters
  • Nuclear propulsion: systems that use nuclear reactions to generate thrust, such as nuclear thermal rocket engines
  • Air-breathing propulsion: systems that use the surrounding air as a source of oxygen for combustion, such as turbojet engines, turbofan engines, and ramjet engines.
  • Solar propulsion: systems that use solar energy to generate thrust, such as Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP)

Examples of organizations involved in propulsion research include NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) and private aerospace companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.

Examples of propulsion systems used in commercial and military aircrafts include turbofan and turboprop engines, examples of propulsion systems used in spacecrafts include liquid fuel rocket engines, ion engines, and Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) systems.

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