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The Question

(Submitted September 25, 1996)

I am trying to find information on the propellants used in the Thor-Delta Rocket for some educational material I am preparing. I would like to be able to use the stoichiometry, mechanism, and kinetics of the propellant reactions in teaching my chemistry classes.

I would be interested in similar information for the Space Shuttle and Apollo rockets as well. All I could find at the NASA KSC web site was the composition of the shuttle systems.

The Answer

Unfortunately, none of us are 'rocket scientists' as such --- our group works on instrumentation on, and data from, astronomical satellites, and not directly with the launch vehicles. Still, we used one of the search engines on the Web and found the following site:

http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/launch/delta.htm

According to this, the Delta II first stage uses refined kerosene and liquid oxygen, and the second stage uses Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide.

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