- Conference date: 24–26 February 2009
- Location: Huntsville (Alabama)
Atomic metallic hydrogen is predicted to be metastable, limited by some critical temperature and pressure, and to store very large amounts of energy. Experiments may soon produce enough metallic hydrogen to determine if it is indeed metastable and, if so, the critical temperature, critical pressure, and specific energy availability. Above the critical temperature the atoms recombine into molecules releasing 216 MJ/kg. Assuming that metallic hydrogen is stable at usable temperatures and pressures, and that it can be affordably produced, handled, and stored, then it may be a useful rocket propellant when mixed with some appropriate diluting material to control the chamber temperature. This paper provides a status of the metallic hydrogen research at Harvard, and examines potential lunar mission vehicles using metallic hydrogen with liquid hydrogen or water as a diluant coolant.
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