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Mission Control
Answers Your Questions

From: Tom Mobley, of Kennett MO
To: Bill Reeves, flight director for the planning team


Question: Do you use hybrid rocket engines in any way with the launch of the space shuttle?

Answer: There aren't any hybrid propulsion systems used to launch the Shuttle, but it does use both liquid and solid rocket propulsion systems. The Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) burn liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) are, as the name suggests, solid rockets. The solid propellant is a mixture of ammonium perchlorate and aluminum. The Space Shuttle also has an Orbital Manuevering System and a Reaction Control System - a series of rocket engines and thrusters used to change altitude and maintain attitude in orbit. These systems are liquid propulsion systems and burn nitrogen tetroxide and monomethyl hydrazine.

Michael Moses
Orbit 2 Propulsion Officer


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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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