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
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
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)