Tsiolkovsky rocket equation as function of payload


The Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, classical rocket equation, or ideal rocket equation is a mathematical equation that describes the motion of vehicles that follow the basic principle of a rocket: a device that can apply acceleration to itself using thrust by expelling part of its mass with high velocity can thereby move due to the conservation of momentum.

The equation relates the delta-v (the maximum change of velocity of the rocket if no other external forces act) to the effective exhaust velocity and the initial and final mass of a rocket, or other reaction engine.

If the exhaust velocity is constant then the total Δv of a vehicle can be calculated using the rocket equation, where M is the mass of propellant, P is the mass of the payload (including the rocket structure), and Ve is the velocity of the rocket exhaust and appears function of the payload as shown.

Related formulas


Δvrocket's final velocity (m/s)
veexhaust velocity relative to the rocket (m/s)
Mmass of propellant (kg)
Pmass of the payload (kg)