Section 5.4.1: How do Rockets work?

The type of rockets that most people are familiar with are fireworks. Many of the principles involved carry over to space launch systems.

ACTIVITY: Watch the animation below which explains the operation of rockets. 

rocket1.swfVideo player: rocket1.swf

(credit: ESA)

Perhaps the most important part of a rocket engine is the nozzle through which the combustion gases escape and thrust the rocket forward.

ACTIVITY: Watch the following animation which describes how nozzles operate in practical rocket motors.

rocket2.swfVideo player: rocket2.swf

(credit: ESA)

Finally, the design of the rocket is crucial to controlling the burn of the fuel, whether that is a solid propellant or a liquid propellant.

ACTIVITY: Watch the following animation which illustrates how crucial this variable is.

rocket4.swfVideo player: rocket4.swf (Credit: ESA)

Last modified: Friday, 19 Dec 2014, 11:34