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Course Detail

Course Name Rocket and Spacecraft Propulsion
Course Code 19AEE441
Program B. Tech. in Aerospace Engineering
Year Taught 2019


Unit 1

Principle of Rocket Propulsion – Rocket Equation – Development of Thrust – Nozzle Design – Effect of Atmosphere – Thermodynamic Thrust Equation – Characteristic Velocity – Performance Parameters.

Unit 2

Liquid Propellant Rocket Engine – Cryogenic and Semi-cryogenic Engines – Basic Configuration – Types of Propellants – Propellant Feed Systems – Combustion of Liquid Propellants – Injectors and Thrust Chambers – Combustion Instability – Solid Propellant Fundamentals – Types of Solid Propellants – Propellant Processing and Manufacture – Grain Configuration – Igniter Hardware – Combustion of Solid Propellants – Hybrid Rocket Engines.

Unit 3

Electric Propulsion: Electrothermal and Electromagnetic Thrusters, Applications of Electric Propulsion, Electric Power Generation – Nuclear Propulsion – Operational Issues – Practical Approaches for Single Stage to Orbit Vehicles.

Objectives and Outcomes

Course Objectives

  • To build up necessary background for understanding the Rocket and Spacecraft Propulsion systems.
  • To learn the propulsion system performance parameters and its influence on the various atmospheric conditions.
  • To understand the various properties of the rocket propellants and its selection pertaining to the needs of propulsive system performance.

Course Outcomes

  • CO1: Understand the operating principle of the rocket and spacecraft propulsion systems.
  • CO2: Develop the expressions for the performance parameters such as thrust, specific impulse, thrust coefficient, characteristic velocity, etc.,
  • CO3: Interpret the influence of atmospheric conditions on the performance parameters of the rocket and spacecraft propulsion systems.
  • CO4: Distinguish solid rocket motor, liquid propellant rocket, and hybrid rocket motor in terms of general characteristics, propellant properties with its relative advantages and disadvantages.
  • CO5: Demonstrate the working principle with relative advantages and disadvantages of advanced propulsion systems such as electric propulsion and nuclear propulsion

CO – PO Mapping



CO1 3 2 1 1 3
CO2 3 3 2 2 3 1
CO3 2 3 3 3 1 3 2 2
CO4 1 1 2 2 2 3 1 1
CO5 2 2 1 1 1 2 3 1 1



  • Truner.Martin, “Rocket and Spacecraft Propulsion,” 3rd edition, Springer, 2009
  • Sutton.G.P, Biblarz.O, “Elements of rocket propulsion,” 7th edition, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2010.

Evaluation Pattern

Assessment Internal External
Periodical 1 (P1) 15
Periodical 2 (P2) 15
*Continuous Assessment (CA) 20
End Semester 50
*CA – Can be Quizzes, Assignment, Projects, and Reports.

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