This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at LOX/Hydyne

Redstone engine
Redstone engine -

Credit: NASA. 33,508 bytes. 386 x 305 pixels.

Oxidiser: LOX. Oxidiser Density: 1.14 g/cc. Oxidiser Freezing Point: -219.00 deg C. Oxidiser Boiling Point: -183.00 deg C.

Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid oxygen, as normally supplied, is of 99.5 percent purity and is covered in the United States by Military Specification MIL-P-25508. High purity liquid oxygen has a light blue colour and is transparent. It has no characteristic odour. Liquid oxygen does not burn, but will support combustion vigorously. The liquid is stable; however, mixtures of fuel and liquid oxygen are shock-sensitive. Gaseous oxygen can form mixtures with fuel vapours that can be exploded by static electricity, electric spark, or flame. Liquid oxygen is obtained from air by fractional distillation. The 1959 United. States production of high-purity oxygen was estimated at nearly 2 million tonnes. The cost of liquid oxygen, at that time, ex-works, was $ 0.04 per kg. By the 1980's NASA was paying $ 0.08 per kg.

Fuel: Hydyne. Fuel Density: 0.86 g/cc. Fuel Freezing Point: -84.00 deg C. Fuel Boiling Point: 64.00 deg C.

Hydyne was a propellant blend pushed rather vigorously by the Redstone arsenal in the late 1950's, but it found little application. Hydyne, which is also known as MAF-4, is a 60 per cent, by weight, mixture of UDMH and 40 weight percent diethyltrianine (DETA). The normally occurring impurities are dimethylamine, beta-aminoethyl-N-piperazine, and water. Hydyne is a clear, colourless liquid which may become discoloured on exposure to air during storage. Both UDMH and DETA have an ammoniacal odour; the odour is not so sharp or fishy as that of UDMH. Hydyne is a hygroscopic liquid which will absorb carbon dioxide and oxygen from air. It is completely miscible with water and ethanol; the solubility of gasoline and JP-4 in Hydyne are somewhat limited. It forms flammable explosive mixtures with air. Amines generally yellow during storage due to oxidation followed by polymerisation induced by air (O2) reaction is believed to form an intermediate amine oxide which undergoes polymerisation. The cost of Hydyne in 1959 was $ 0.80 per kg.

Engines Using Lox/Hydyne

Eng-engineslink Thrust(vac)-kgf Thrust(vac)-kN Isp-sec Isp (sea level)-sec Designed for Status
A-7 42,439 416.20 265 235 First Stages Out of Production

Back to Index
Last update 3 May 2001.
Contact Mark Wade with any corrections or comments.
Conditions for use of drawings, pictures, or other materials from this site..
© Mark Wade, 2001 .