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SUMMARY: Single Stage Rockets

The total mass of the rocket stage can be considered to be the sum of several parts:
ML: Mass of the payload
MP: Mass of the propellant
MS: Structural mass
The structural mass includes all other mass but the payload and the propellant. This
includes engine, guidance system and control equipment and fuel tanks. ther te!ts use
different definitions to divide the rocket into various fractions, but these groupings are
most common. The initial mass of the rocket is "ritten as the sum of these components:
S P L o
M M M M + + = #
$f the rocket consumes all its propellant during firing, the burnout mass is:
P o S L b
M M M M M = + = %
These variables may be arranged in several important ratios, as summari&ed belo":
Symbol Ratio Description
'
S L
o
b
o
M M
M
M
M
R
+
= =
Mass Ratio: initial mass ( mass at the
end of the thrust period. )ant this
ratio large.
*

S P
L
L o
L
M M
M
M M
M
+
=

=
Payload Ratio: ratio of payload to
everything but payload. )ant this
large, but larger the payload, the
lo"er ma!imum attainable velocity.
+

L o
L b
S P
S
M M
M M
M M
M

=
+
=
Structural Coefficient: ratio of the
structural "eight to everything but
the payload. )ant this small.
,

L o
P
S P
P
M M
M
M M
M

=
+
=
Propellant Ratio: 'atio of propellant
to everything but the payload.
-
)e can also "rite the mass ratio as:

+
+
=
#
R
.
/ote that the structural and payload ratios are related by:
=#
0
#
SUMMARY: Multistage Rockets
Some key points about rocket staging:
1 multistage rocket is a series of individual vehicles or stages each "ith its o"n
structure, tanks and engines. The stages are connected so that each operates in
series and accelerates the remaining stages and payload before being detached and
discarded.
The stages are numbered in the order of firing.
The payload for any particular stage is simply the mass of all subsequent stages.
Moi: Total initial mass of the i
th
stage prior to firing, including its effective payload
Mbi: Total mass of the i
th
stage after burnout, including its effective payload
ML: Payload of the last stage to fire
Msi: Structural mass of the i
th
stage alone, including the mass of its engine, controls, and
instruments.
2y slightly modifying the ratios defined in equations #30, "e can e!amine multistage
rockets. 'emember, that the payload of any stage is simply the mass of all subsequent
stages.
The payload ratio, i, of the i
th
stage is:
4 # 5
4 # 5
+
+

=
i o oi
i o
i
M M
M

6
The structural coefficient of the i
th
stage is:
4 # 5 +

=
i o oi
si
i
M M
M

#7
4 # 5
4 # 5
+
+

=
i o oi
i o bi
i
M M
M M

#7.#
The last e!pression holds if the i
th
stage contains no propellant at burnout. The mass ratio
of the i
th
stage can be "ritten as:
bi
oi
i
M
M
R =
##
i i
i
i
R

+
+
=
# ##.#
%