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Isp often defined as "thrust per unit of mass flow". That is, how many Newtons of thrust engine gets from each kilogram per second of propellant spent. Since N = kg * m / s^2 , and mass flow is in kg / s , Isp becomes (kg * m * s) / (s^2 * kg) = m/s , i.e. Isp has units of speed. In vacuum Isp is equal to the speed of gases flying from the engine.



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