- huge trust needed to overcome the pull of Earth’s gravity to lunch a spacecraft into the space is provided by rockets.
- hot gases that drive the rocket upwards are produced when rockets burn propellant. (diagram)
- rocket propellant comes in two parts – fuel and oxidizer which allow the fuel to burn.
- solid fuel; fuel and oxidizer are chemicals mixed together to make a rubbery substance.
- liquid fuel; sometimes liquid hydrogen, typically used in big rockets.
- no oxygen in space – oxidizer supplies the oxygen needed to burn fuel – often liquid oxygen – this is called ‘lox’ for short.
Did you know?
- first rockets were made 1,000 years ago in China. (photo)
- V2 war rocket – the German designed by Werner von Braun, was the first rocket capable of reaching space.
- Werner von Braun became Director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on 1 May, 1964. (wikipedia)
- most powerful rocket ever was Saturn V, which sent astronauts to the Moon.
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