"The Rocket Motor"
by Maurice J. Zucrow, Ph.D.


Shown actual size:  8.5 x 5.5-inches

The Rocket Motor
by Maurice J. Zucrow, Ph.D.

If you design, build, test, or use serious rocket engines, you need this new reference handbook.  A perfect companion to Sutton's "Rocket Propulsion Elements," providing a handy and useful compilation of key theory and data on virtually all types of rocket propulsion systems. 

Some of the topics discussed

Historical perspective of propulsion
General principles of rocket engines
Pressurized bipropellant systems
Turbo-pumped bipropellant systems
Compounded propellants
Fuels and oxidizers
Thermochemical data for various propellants
Specific heat ratios for propellants
Throat pressures and gas velocities
Calculating critical pressure ratios
Conditions at any section of nozzle
Nozzle area ratios
Calculating exhaust velocity of gases
Weight flow and flow coefficients
Estimating thermochemical data
Effect of chamber temperature on exhaust velocity
Calculating specific impulse (Isp)
Specific impulse vs pressure ratios
Specific propellant consumption
Calculating characteristic velocity (c*)
Combustion in the rocket motor
Predicting engine performance
Calculating and predicting thrust
Estimating exhaust exit velocity
Effect of area ratio on thrust
Under- and over-expanded nozzles
Calculating thrust coefficient (Cf)
Thrust coefficient vs expansion ratios
Calculating effective exhaust velocity
Thrust vs altitude for various motors
Thermochemical dissociation
Cooling of the rocket motor
Regenerative cooling systems
Propulsion efficiency vs velocity ratios
Propulsion efficiency vs air speed
Thrust and power relationships
Ideal velocity theory
Mass ratios and effective exhaust velocities
Values of functions of k (specific heat ratios)
Hermann Oberth's k calculations
Vertical flight calculations with and without air resistance
Drag coefficient vs Mach numbers
JATO and RATO rocket motors
Walther ME-163 H2O2 engine system

Originally published as part of the classic Principles of Jet Propulsion engineering text by Dr. Maurice J. Zucrow, Professor of Jet Propulsion, Purdue University.  It's accurate, comprehensive, complete, and authoritative. 

This is a highly-detailed rocket science book, containing a wealth of material on rocket nozzle theory and design, gas velocities, thermodynamics, thrust and thrust coefficient, exhaust velocity, specific impulse, characteristic velocity, cooling, propulsion efficiency, vertical flight, propellants, and JATO design.  Includes numerous examples for calculations of every aspect of motor performance.

Dr. Zucrow, an extraordinary propulsion theorist and rocket engineer, was a colleague of Dr. Theodore Von Kármán, Martin Summerfield, and Frank Malina.  He did much pioneering work at Aerojet Engineering Company, and later became Professor of  Jet Propulsion in the eminent Schools of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue.  The Zucrow Laboratories at Purdue University is today one of the leading facilities for the study of propulsion, missiles, and space vehicles.

This is a comprehensive rocket propulsion reference book.  If you’re serious about learning both theory and practical engineering information—for both solid and liquid propellant rockets—The Rocket Motor offers a complete education. 

Professor Zucrow

The text discusses estimating and predicting rocket engine performance from theoretical data.  Explanations include deriving throat area, chamber pressure, mixture ratio and flow rate.  Then thermochemical calculations are explained, covering characteristic velocity at various pressures; combustion gas velocity for various nozzle ratios; and various nozzle pressure ratios.  All essential algebraic formulae and equations are included, working with a variety of fuel-oxidizer combinations. 

Typical pages from the book


Long out-of-print, this new limited edition of Zucrow’s rare text has been digitally restored and republished by the Rocket Science Institute.   72 pages, including 35 drawings, tables, charts, and graphs, plus unusual references for further studies.  Size is 8.5 by 5.5-inches. 

Here's your chance to have an exceptional rocket science textbook at an affordable price.  Printed with a high-resolution laser printer (not photocopied) on high-quality, bright-white, acid-free paper, and quality bound for years of reference use.  Zucrow will become a valuable part of your library.

ISBN 1-878628-15-1     $21.95

Priority Mail Postage US $3.85            Global Priority Mail (Canada / Mexico) US$7.00          Global Priority Mail International US$9.00.

For details about ordering your copy, click here.

For more information about advanced nitrate-type solid propellants, join our active, free discussion group for "amateur" experimental rocket scientists, at: 


For more information about Jetex, Jet-X, Dyna-Jet, and other microjet propulsion devices, join our active, free discussion group for micropropulsion and pulse-jet enthusiasts, at: 



Our books may be purchased direct by e-mail or postal order, or through our regular auctions on eBay and Rocketry Online.

We ship to anywhere in the world!  You pay only actual postal costs.

For details about how to order a book, click here.

If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please contact us at:

 < books@rocketsciencebooks.com >


The Rocket Science Institute is a non-profit scientific and educational foundation in support of "amateur" experimental rocket science, engineering, and technology.

Rocket Science Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 1253, Carmel Valley CA 93924 USA     •     e-mail: books@rocketsciencebooks.com 

Book Catalog
Nitrate-type Propellants Group