Space Taxis!

Rockets are exciting machines to learn about and without these marvels of engineering, there’d be no human spaceflight or space exploration! Check out the list of rockets below, from America’s early missiles used to put Alan Shepard into space to the Soviet’s failed N1 lunar rocket to NASA’s HUGE Moon rocket the Saturn V! And don’t forget SpaceX’s remarkable reusable Falcon 9 and their new BFR Mars rocket!

rocket-9

Check Out These Famous Rockets!

A rocket is often thought of as a tall skinny thing that blasts clouds of flame out their bottom while making a cool roaring sound! They are a type of vehicle which generates thrust from a rocket engine to accelerate a payload such as a satellite, warhead, space probe or manned spacecraft to tremendous speeds! Learn more about how a rocket works.

For example, if a spacecraft like the Crew Dragon or CST-100 capsule, wants to reach orbit around Earth it needs to reach a height of over 160 kilometres and a speed of 28,100 kilometres an hour (17,500 miles per hour)!  This can only be achieved by using a rocket!

Below you can enjoy learning about some of the coolest (and most famous) rockets ever flown during the space age;

Rocket launches are a complex and hazardous phase of a rocket mission. Of course, occasionally a launch doesn’t go as planned and they end in a fireball! Check out images of the most spectacular rocket explosions here!

Interesting Facts About The ‘Tyranny Of The Rocket Equation’!

A rockets ability to put satellites or spacecraft into space is limited by the weight of the rocket and the chemical energy contained in rocket fuel. With current rocket technology, about 85-90% of the initial weight of a rocket is rocket fuel. This means only about 5% of the rocket’s weight reaches orbit!

NASA astronaut Don Pettit refers to this situation where we are restricted in our ability to reach space, and how much stuff we can take there, by Earth’s gravity, the energy in our chemical rocket fuels and our current rocket technology as ‘The Tyranny of the Rocket Equation’!

Don calculated that based on current technology and rocket fuels, that if the Earth’s gravity was only 50% greater than it currently is, we wouldn’t be able to build a rocket big enough to reach the speeds required to reach orbit around the Earth! How crazy a thought is that! That means there would be no Space Race, no Apollo Moon landing and no Space Exploration! We’d be possibly be stuck on Earth forever!

 
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