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A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle that obtains thrust from a rocket engine.

Rocket engine exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before
use.[1] Rocket engines work by action and reaction. Rocket engines push rockets forward by
expelling their exhaust in the opposite direction at high speed. Rockets rely on momentum,
airfoils, auxiliary reaction engines, gimballed thrust, momentum wheels, deflection of the exhaust
stream, propellant flow, spin, and/or gravity to help control flight.
Rockets are relatively lightweight and powerful, capable of generating large accelerations and of
attaining extremely high speedswith reasonable efficiency. Rockets are not reliant on the
atmosphere and work very well in space.
Rockets for military and recreational uses date back to at least 13th century China.[2] Significant
scientific, interplanetary and industrial use did not occur until the 20th century, when rocketry was
the enabling technology for the Space Age, including setting foot on the moon. Rockets are now
used for fireworks, weaponry, ejection seats, launch vehicles for artificial satellites, human
spaceflight, and space exploration.
Chemical rockets are the most common type of high power rocket, typically creating a high speed
exhaust by the combustion of fuelwith an oxidizer. The stored propellant can be a simple pressurized
gas or a single liquid that disassociates in the presence of a catalyst (monopropellants), two liquids
that spontaneously react on contact (hypergolic propellants), two liquids that must be ignited to
react, a solid combination of one or more fuels with one or more oxidizers (solid fuel), or solid fuel
with liquid oxidant (hybrid propellant system). Chemical rockets store a large amount of energy in an
easily released form, and can be very dangerous. However, careful design, testing, construction and
use minimizes risks.
Contents
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1 History of rockets
o 1.1 In antiquity
o 1.2 Spread of rocket technology
o 1.3 Metal-cylinder rocket artillery
o 1.4 Accuracy of early rockets
o 1.5 Theories of interplanetary rocketry
o 1.6 Modern rocketry
 1.6.1 Pre-World War II
 1.6.2 World War II
 1.6.3 Post World War II
 1.6.4 Cold War
 1.6.5 Current day
2 Types
3 Design
o 3.1 Components







o 3.2 Engines
o 3.3 Propellant
4 Uses
o 4.1 Military
o 4.2 Science and research
o 4.3 Spaceflight
o 4.4 Rescue
o 4.5 Hobby, sport, and entertainment
5 Noise
6 Physics
o 6.1 Operation
o 6.2 Forces on a rocket in flight
o 6.3 Net thrust
o 6.4 Impulse
o 6.5 Specific impulse
o 6.6 Delta-v (rocket equation)
o 6.7 Mass ratios
o 6.8 Staging
o 6.9 Acceleration and thrust-to-weight ratio
o 6.10 Drag
o 6.11 Energy
 6.11.1 Energy efficiency
 6.11.2 Oberth effect
7 Safety, reliability and accidents
8 Costs and economics
9 See also
10 Notes
11 References
12 External links

History of rockets
Main article: History of rockets
See also: Timeline of rocket and missile technology

[nb 1][nb 2] The discovery of gunpowder was probably the product of centuries of alchemical experimentation in which Taoist alchemists were trying to create an elixir of immortality that would allow the person ingesting it to become physically immortal. cannon. The holes in the frame are designed to keep the fire arrows separate. so confinement in a tube and other design refinements may easily have followed for the experimentally-minded with ready access to saltpetre.[5]However. Exactly when the first flights of rockets occurred is contested.A depiction of the "long serpent" rocket launcher from the 11th century book Wujing Zongyao. Merely lighting a centimeter-sized solid lump of gunpowder on one side can cause it to move via reaction (even without a nozzle for efficiency). The availability of black powder (gunpowder) to propel projectiles was a precursor to experiments as weapons such as bombs. anyone with a wood fire might have observed the acceleration of combustion that accidentally-chosensaltpetre-containing rocks would have produced. incendiary fire arrows and rocket-propelled fire arrows. In antiquity Main article: Fire arrow See also: List of Chinese inventions Early Chinese rocket. .

or 15 miles) when they exploded.[10] Spread of rocket technology Ryusei Festival at Yoshida town. The Mongolians had acquired the Chinese technology by conquest of the northern part of China and by the subsequent employment of Chinese rocketry experts as mercenaries for the Mongol military. causing devastation for a radius of 600 meters (2. written by the Chinese artillery officer Jiao Yu in the mid-14th century.[7] Less controversially. Eastern. and Central Europe.000 feet). was the 'ground-rat. There were reports of fire arrows and 'iron pots' that could be heard for 5 leagues (25 km. one of the earliest devices recorded that used internal-combustion rocket propulsion. Reports of the Battle of Mohi in the year 1241 describe the use of rocket-like weapons by the Mongols against the Magyars.[7] However. or arrows propelled by gunpowder. one of the earliest texts to mention the use of rockets was the Huolongjing.[9] Subsequently.[nb 3] A scholarly reference occurs in the Ko Chieh Ching Yuan (The Mirror of Research). Japan Rocket technology was first known to Europeans following its use by the Mongols Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan when they conquered parts of Russia. In their history of rockets . Saitama. apparently due to shrapnel.A problem for dating the first rocket flight is that Chinese fire arrows can be either arrows with explosives attached.[6] Rocket technology also spread toKorea. the 'fire-dragon issuing from the water' (huo long chu shui). the spread of rockets into Europe was also influenced by the Ottomans at the siege of Constantinople in 1453. This text also mentioned the use of the first known multistage rocket. where the 15th century hwacha wheeled cart was used as a platform to would launch singijeon fire arrows.Chichibu city.[6] A common claim is that the first recorded use of a rocket in battle was by the Chinese in 1232 against the Mongol hordes at Kai Feng Fu. the lowering of iron pots there may have been a way for a besieged army to blow up invaders. used mostly by the Chinese navy.' a type of firework recorded in 1264 as having frightened the Empress-Mother Kung Sheng at a feast held in her honor by her son the Emperor Lizong.[11] Additionally. although it is very likely that the Ottomans themselves were influenced by the Mongol invasions of the previous few centuries. states that in 998 AD a man named Tang Fu invented a fire arrow of a new kind having an iron head.

[34] Between 1529 and 1556 Conrad Haas wrote a book that described rocket technology that combined fireworks and weapons technologies. gave the name "snow of China" (Arabic: thalj al-Sin) to describe saltpetre. Hasan al-Rammah wrote al-furusiyyah wa al-manasib al-harbiyya (The Book of Military Horsemanship and Ingenious War Devices). while "Chinese Snow" was given to saltpeter and "Chinese arrows" to rockets. Evliya Çelebi purported that in 1633 Lagari .[13][14][15] The terminology used by al-Rammah indicated a Chinese origin for the gunpowder weapons he wrote about. such as rockets and fire lances. NASA says "Rockets appear in Arab literature in 1258 A. a name of a small firecracker created by the Italian artificer Muratori in 1379. in the Sibiu public records (Sibiu public records Varia II 374).D."[19][20] The Arabs also used the name "Chinese arrows" to refer to rockets.published on the Internet. an Arab from Spain who had immigrated to Egypt.[17][18] The earlier Arab historians call saltpeter "Chinese snow" and " Chinese salt. according to an account written by Evliya Çelebi. the first depiction of one Konrad Kyeser described rockets in his famous military treatise Bellifortis around 1405. different fuel mixtures using liquid fuel."[6] Between 1270 and 1280.. This manuscript was discovered in 1961. al-Rammah's recipes were more explosive than rockets used in China at the time.[12] According to Ahmad Y Hassan. His work dealt with the theory of motion of multi-stage rockets. 22 of which are for rockets.e. Al-Baytar died in 1248. "Chinese flowers" was the name for fireworks.[35] Lagari Hasan Çelebi was a legendary Ottoman aviator who. made a successful manned rocketflight. and introduced delta-shape fins and bellshaped nozzles. it was called "Chinese salt" (Persian: namak-i čīnī) by the [28][29][30][31][32] Iranians.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27] The Arabs attached "Chinese" to various names for gunpowder related objects.[16] Ibn al-Baytar.[16] While saltpeter was called "Chinese Snow" by Arabs. little fuse). describing Mongol invaders' use of them on February 15 to capture the city of Baghdad. The name Rocket comes from the Italian Rocchetta (i.[33] Kyeser was infatuated with the legend of Alexander the Great: here Alexander holds a rocket. which included 107 gunpowder recipes.

and rockets with delta wing stabilizers (instead of the common guiding rods ("bottle rockets"). this enabled higher thrust and longer range for the missile (up to 2 km range). including multi-stage rockets. The British then took an active interest in the technology and developed it further during the 19th century. and other pyrotechnic devices. was used in Europe as a basic artillery manual. German in 1676. English and Dutch in 1729 and Polish in 1963. fireballs. which was soon put into use in the Napoleonic Wars. batteries of rockets. the first iron-cased rockets were successfully developed and used by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.[37] Accuracy of early rockets The Congreve rocket . also known as "The Complete Art of Artillery"). The book provided the standard designs for creating rockets. After Tipu's eventual defeat in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War and the capture of the Mysore iron rockets.[36] First printed in Amsterdam in 1650 it was translated to French in 1651. rulers of the Kingdom of Mysorein India against the larger British East India Company forces during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. they were influential in British rocket development. the point below Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. the work of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth nobleman Kazimierz Siemienowicz "Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima" ("Great Art of Artillery. which are also aerodynamic stabilizers but less efficient than fins). Lagâri Hasan Çelebi's rocket flight depicted in a 17th-century engraving For over two centuries. Metal-cylinder rocket artillery In 1792. It contained a large chapter on caliber. inspiring the Congreve rocket. production and properties of rockets (for both military and civil purposes). chiefly because of the use of iron tubes for holding the propellant. the First Part".Hasan Çelebi launched in a 7-winged rocket using 50 okka (140 lbs) of gunpowder fromSarayburnu. The Mysore rockets of this period were much more advanced than the British had previously seen. construction.

In 1865 the British Colonel Edward Mounier Boxer built an improved versione of the Congreve rocket placing two rockets in one tube. The rockets were effectively used during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. Originally.5 kilograms). which had a 15-foot (4. The earlyMysorean rockets and their successor British Congreve rockets[38] reduced this somewhat by attaching a long stick to the end of a rocket (similar to modern bottle rockets) to make it harder for the rocket to change course. Without the use of spinning or any gimballing of the thrust. son of the Comptroller of the Royal Arsenal. they had a strong tendency to veer sharply off of their intended course. the rockets fired on Fort McHenry by the rocket vessel HMS Erebus were the source of the rockets' red glare described by Francis Scott Key in The Star-Spangled Banner.[38] Congreve prepared a new propellant mixture. The largest of the Congreve rockets was the 32-pound (14. but this was later changed to mounting in the center of the rocket. The accuracy problem was greatly improved in 1844 when William Hale[42] modified the rocket design so that thrust was slightly vectored. The Hale rocket removed the need for a rocket stick.5 kg) Carcass. London.6 m) stick. and was far more accurate. travelled further due to reduced air resistance. one behind the other. At the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.[41] Early rockets were very inaccurate. The Royal Arsenal's first demonstration of solid fuel rockets was in 1805. Congreve researched on the original design of Mysore rockets and set on a vigorous development program at the Arsenal's laboratory. Woolwich.William Congreve.[43] Theories of interplanetary rocketry Konstantin Tsiolkovskypublished the first work on space travel.[40] Rockets were also used in the Battle of Waterloo. causing the rocket to spin along its axis of travel like a bullet.[39] From there. reducing drag and enabling the rocket to be more accurately fired from a segment of pipe. Congreve published three books on rocketry. which was inspired by the writings of Jules Verne . and developed a rocket motor with a strong iron tube with conical nose. the use of military rockets spread throughout the western world. sticks were mounted on the side. This early Congreve rocket weighed about 32 pounds (14. became a major figure in the field. From 1801.

the first serious scientific work on space travel. Wells. did basic calculations about the energy required to make round trips to the Moon and planets. published Исследование мировых пространств реактивными приборами[44] (The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices). began a serious analysis of rockets. First.[45] He also advocated the use of liquid hydrogen and oxygen for propellant.[47] He also independently developed the mathematics of rocket flight. In 1912. concluding that conventional solid-fuel rockets needed to be improved in three ways. He independently derived Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation. which . In 1920. The Tsiolkovsky rocket equation—the principle that governs rocket propulsion—is named in his honor (although it had been discovered previously). Finally.G.Wells. instead of building the entire propellant container to withstand the high pressures. Scientists seized on the rocket as a technology that was able to achieve this in real life.At the beginning of the 20th Century. there was a burst of scientific investigation into interplanetary travel. experimentation and the formation of the Society for Studies of Interplanetary Travel in 1924.e. In 1903. Second. and he proposed the use of atomic power (i. largely driven by the inspiration of fiction by writers such as Jules Verne and H. rockets could be arranged in stages. Goddard published these ideas and experimental results in A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. His work was essentially unknown outside the Soviet Union. radium) to power a jet drive. but inside the country it inspired further research. Robert Esnault-Pelterie published a lecture[46] on rocket theory and interplanetary travel. the exhaust speed (and thus the efficiency) could be greatly increased to beyond the speed of sound by using a De Laval nozzle. inspired from an early age by H. Robert Goddard In 1912 Robert Goddard.[48] The work included remarks about sending a solid-fuel rocket to the Moon.G. He patented these concepts in 1914. high school mathematics teacher Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857–1935). fuel should be burned in a small combustion chamber. calculating their maximum exhaust velocity.

does not know the relation of action to reaction. although it was destroyed on its second flight.[51] Modern rocketry Pre-World War II Robert Goddard and the first liquid-fueled rocket.[52][53] On 16 March 1926 Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket inAuburn. In 1929 von Opel started at the Frankfurt-Rebstock airport with the Opel-Sander RAK 1airplane. in 'Cosmic Rocket Trains'. after the University of Munich had rejected it. In 1927 the German car manufacturer Opel began to research rocket vehicles together with Mark Valier and the solid-fuel rocket builder Friedrich Wilhelm Sander." —New York Times. highly directed jet of gas. . Modern rockets originated when Goddard attached a supersonic (de Laval) nozzle to the combustion chamber of a liquid-fueled rocket engine. Massachusetts. During the 1920s. hypersonic. Hermann Oberth (1894–1989) published Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen ("The Rocket into Planetary Space"). a version of his doctoral thesis. Fritz von Opel drove a rocket car.attracted worldwide attention and was both praised and ridiculed. A New York Times editorial suggested: "That Professor Goddard. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools. and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react -.[54] In 1928. a number of rocket research organizations appeared worldwide. more than doubling the thrust and raising the engine efficiency from 2% to 64%.[50] In 1924.to say that would be absurd. Tsiolkovsky also wrote about multi-stage rockets. These nozzles turn the hot gas from the combustion chamber into a cooler. 13 January 1920[49] In 1923. which was damaged beyond repair during a hard landing after its first flight.1 on the Opel raceway in Rüsselsheim. Germany. In 1928 the Lippisch Ente flew: rocket power launched the manned glider. with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution. the Opel-RAK.

The work included regenerative cooling. German scientists had begun experimenting with rockets that used liquid propellants capable of reaching relatively high altitudes and distances. In 1927 and also in Germany. and in 1931 launched a liquid propellant rocket (using oxygen and gasoline). but because their focus was strictly scientific. the Wehrmacht initially funded the VfR team. the American Interplanetary Society's attempt to static-fire their first rocket (based on German Rocket Society designs) failed in a fire. However. at the time a young aspiring rocket scientist. The well-funded and -staffed laboratory built over 100 experimental engines under the direction of Valentin Glushko. created its own research team. Wernher von Braun.[55] From 1931 to 1937 in the Soviet Union.[59] World War II A German V-2 rocket on aMeillerwagen . 1932 at a farm in Stockton NJ. joined the military (followed by two former VfR members) and developed long-range weapons for use in World War II by Nazi Germany. who migrated from Austria to Germany in 1936. Glushko's arrest during Stalinist purges in 1938 curtailed the development. He worked there on rocketpoweredspaceplanes such as Silbervogel (sometimes called the "antipodal" bomber.In the mid-1920s. Similar work was also done from 1932 onwards by the Austrian professor Eugen Sänger. At the behest of military leaders. or VfR). the German Reichswehr (which in 1935 became the Wehrmacht) began to take an interest in rocketry.)[56] On November 12. Seeing the possibility of using rockets as longrange artillery fire.[57] In 1930s. and fuel injectordesigns that included swirling and bi-propellant mixing injectors. a team of amateur rocket engineers had formed the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (German Rocket Society. hypergolic propellant ignition.[58] Artillery restrictions imposed by the 1919 Treaty of Versailleslimited Germany's access to long-distance weaponry. extensive scientific work on rocket engine design occurred at the Gas Dynamics Laboratory in Leningrad.

vertical take-off (Bachem Ba 349 "Natter") or for powering them (Me 163.Layout of a V-2 rocket In 1943. as well as England and France. The Allies rocket programs were much less sophisticated.200 lb) warhead. While it did not significantly affect the course of the war. the V-2 provided a lethal demonstration of the potential for guided rockets as weapons. either for assisting horizontal take-off (RATO).000 kg (2. ground-to-air and ground-to-ground missiles (see list of World War II guided missiles of Germany).523 were wounded before the launch campaign was ended. and 6. It had an operational range of 300 km (190 mi) and carried a 1.). but could achieve 206 km (128 mi) if launched vertically. with turbopumps. While they could not be intercepted. production of the V-2 rocket began in Germany. rockets were also used on aircraft. There were also 20. During the war Germany also developed several guided and unguided air-to-air.[60][61] In parallel with the guided missile programme in Nazi Germany.000 deaths of slave labour during the construction of V-2s. Thousands were fired at various Allied nations. their guidance system design and single conventional warhead meant that it was insufficiently accurate against military targets. The vehicle was similar to most modern rockets. Post World War II . relying mostly on unguided missiles like the Soviet Katyusha rocket. A total of 2. mainly Belgium. inertial guidance and many other features. with an amatol explosive charge. It normally achieved an operational maximum altitude of around 90 km (56 mi).754 people in England were killed.[62] etc.

which is missing for this display. British. the rocket is held in place by its railway carrier. which is mounted on four diagonal beams that constitute the display pedestal. and brought them to the United States as part of Operation Overcast. The US captured a large number of German rocket scientists.Dornberger and Von Braunafter being captured by the Allies R-7 8K72 "Vostok" permanently displayed at the Moscow Trade Fair atOstankino. but the United States benefited the most. by radio telemetry of temperature and pressure of the atmosphere. the same rockets that were designed to rain down on Britain were used instead by scientists as research vehicles for developing the new technology further. and further research. used in the early space program. including von Braun. Here the railway carrier has tilted the rocket upright as it would do so into its launch pad structure -. competing Russian. Russia and Britain had some success.[63] In America. At the end of World War II. . detection of cosmic rays. and US military and scientific crews raced to capture technology and trained personnel from the German rocket program at Peenemünde. rockets were used to study high-altitude conditions.[64] After the war. The V-2 evolved into the American Redstone rocket.

Eggers. Atlas and Titan became the delivery platform of choice for these weapons. R-2 andR-5 missiles. This continued in the US under von Braun and the others. based on blunt body theory Cold War Rockets became extremely important militarily as modern intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) when it was realized that nuclear weaponscarried on a rocket vehicle were essentially impossible for existing defense systems to stop once launched. and yet it was known that meteorites can make it down to the ground.notably the Bell X-1. and ICBM/Launch vehicles such as the R-7. who were destined to become part of the US scientific community. Julian Allen and A. J. the V-2 was duplicated and improved as the R-1.Sputnik 1. One problem that had not been solved was atmospheric reentry. It had been shown that an orbital vehicle easily had enough kinetic energy to vaporize itself. enabling astronauts to survive the fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. and the foreign workers were sent home. A new series of engines built by Glushko and based on inventions of Aleksei Mihailovich Isaev formed the basis of the first ICBM. and later Yuri Gagarin-the first man into space. and this permitted safe recovery of orbital vehicles. was eventually published in 1958. This rocket is still in use today. and the first lunar and planetary probes. along with additional funds for further research. around 99% of the energy goes into the air rather than vehicle.[65] With the help of German technicians. the first manned vehicle to break the sound barrier. of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) made the counterintuitive discovery[67] that a blunt shape (high drag) permitted the most effective heat shield. Prototype of the Mk-2 Reentry Vehicle (RV). With this type of shape. . the R7. Jr.[66] The R-7 launched the first satellite. These prestigious events attracted the attention of top politicians. though initially treated as a military secret. The mystery was solved in the US in 1951 when H. The Allen and Eggers discovery.[68] The Blunt Body Theory made possible the heat shield designs that were embodied in the Mercury and all other space capsules and space planes. German designs were abandoned in the late 1940s. Independently. in the Soviet Union's space program research continued under the leadership of the chief designerSergei Korolev.

In America the manned programmes. Project Gemini and later the Apollo programme culminated in 1969 with the first manned landing on the moon via the Saturn V. and a growing use of rockets for Space exploration. —New York Times. with pictures returned from the far side of the Moon and unmanned flights for Mars exploration.[72] but this large reduction in costs was largely not achieved.. Meanwhile in 1973. such as Britain. causing the New York Times to retract their earlier editorial implying that spaceflight couldn't work: “ Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. before cancelling the Apollo programme in 1975. a launcher that by the year 2000 would capture much of the geosat market. etc. 17 June 1969 . Japan. the expendable Ariane programme was begun. The Times regrets the error.A Correction[71] In the 1970s America made further lunar landings. the 1960s became the decade of rapid development of rocket technology particularly in the Soviet Union (Vostok. the X-15[69] and X-20 Dyna-Soar[70] aircraft). Current day ” . the partially reusable 'Space Shuttle' was intended to be cheaper. Proton) and in the United States (e.g.Von Braun's rocket team in 1961 Fueled partly by the Cold War. Project Mercury. Soyuz. The replacement vehicle. There was also significant research in other countries. Australia.

SpaceShipOne Rockets remain a popular military weapon. the Soyuzincreasingly for orbital tourism and SpaceShipOne for suborbital tourism may show a trend towards greater commercialisation of manned rocketry. rocketry has opened a window on the universe.[76] Scientifically. being more powerful than machine guns. Shoulder-launched rocket weapons are widespread in the anti-tank role due to their simplicity. Vehicles such as the Space Shuttle for scientific research. . light weight. The use of large battlefield rockets of the V-2 type has given way to guided missiles. low cost.[73][74][75] Commercially.[77] However. accuracy and high level of damage. many of which impact people's everyday lives in almost countless ways. but without the recoil of a heavycannon and by the early 1960s air-to-air missiles became favored. it is probably manned spaceflight that has predominantly caught the imagination of the public. Current artillery systems such as the MLRS or BM-30 Smerch launch multiple rockets to saturate battlefield targets with munitions.[78] Types Vehicle configurations Saturn V is the biggest rocket to have successfully flown. allowing the launch of space probes to explore the solar system and space-basedtelescopes to obtain a clearer view of the rest of the universe. However rockets are often used by helicopters and light aircraft for ground attack. rocketry is the enabler of all space technologies particularly satellites.

and a nozzle.[86] . and controlling and correcting the direction of motion. vernier engines or engine gimbals for thrust vectoring. but to make an efficient.Launch of Apollo 15 Saturn V rocket: T − 30 s through T + 40 s Rocket vehicles are often constructed in the archetypal tall thin "rocket" shape that takes off vertically.JATO)  rocket sleds  rocket trains  rocket torpedos[82][83]  rocket-powered jet packs[84]  rapid escape systems such as ejection seats and launch escape systems  space probes Design A rocket design can be as simple as a cardboard tube filled with black powder. accurate rocket or missile involves overcoming a number of difficult problems.[85] Components Rockets consist of a propellant. pumping the fuel (in the case of a liquid fuel). They may also have one or more rocket engines. but there are actually many different types of rockets including:[79][80]  tiny models such as balloon rockets. skyrockets or small solid rockets that can be purchased at a hobby store  missiles  space rockets such as the enormous Saturn V used for the Apollo program  rocket cars  rocket bike[81]  rocket-powered aircraft (including rocket assisted takeoff of conventional aircraft. Rockets intended for high speed atmospheric use also have an aerodynamic fairing such as a nose cone. directional stabilization device(s) (such as fins. which usually holds the payload. a place to put propellant (such as a propellant tank). gyroscopes) and a structure (typically monocoque) to hold these components together. water rockets. The main difficulties include cooling the combustion chamber.

solar thermal rockets. such as steam rockets. The shape of the nozzle also generates force by directing the exhaust gas along the axis of the rocket. an inert propellant can be used that can be externally heated.[1] . or comes premixed. A rocket engine can use gas propellants. Alternatively.[1] For chemical rockets often the propellants are a fuel such as liquid hydrogen or kerosene burned with an oxidizer such as liquid oxygen ornitric acid to produce large volumes of very hot gas. such as wings (rocketplanes). a person (rocket belt). and can be a 'monopropellant' such as hydrazine. The oxidiser is either kept separate and mixed in the combustion chamber. a comprehensive list can be found inrocket engine. or a hybrid mixture of both solid and liquid.As well as these components. prior to being used as the propulsive mass that is ejected from a rocket engine in the form of a fluid jet to produce thrust. in a sense. Sometimes the propellant is not burned but still undergoes a chemical reaction. solid propellant. rockets can have any number of other components. liquid propellant.[87] but some employ a decomposing monopropellant) that emit a hotexhaust gas.[1] This actually happens because the force (pressure times area) on the combustion chamber wall is unbalanced by the nozzle opening. such as in steam rocket. Engines Main article: Rocket engine Rocket engines employ the principle of jet propulsion. solar thermal rocket or nuclear thermal rockets. nitrous oxide or hydrogen peroxide that can becatalytically decomposed to hot gas. as with solid rockets.[1] With combustive propellants a chemical reaction is initiated between the fuel and the oxidizer in the combustion chamber. Propellant Main article: Rocket propellant Rocket propellant is mass that is stored. wheels (rocket cars). even. this is not the case in any other direction.[1] The rocket engines powering rockets come in a great variety of different types. Vehicles frequently possess navigation systems and guidance systems that typically use satellite navigation and inertial navigation systems. The acceleration of these gases through the engine exerts force ("thrust") on the combustion chamber and nozzle. parachutes. and the resultant hot gases accelerate out of a rocket engine nozzle (or nozzles) at the rearward-facing end of the rocket. propelling the vehicle (according to Newton's Third Law).[1] Some rockets use heat or pressure that is supplied from a source other than the chemical reaction of propellant(s). nuclear thermal rocket engines or simple pressurized rockets such as water rocket or cold gas thrusters. usually in some form of propellant tank or casing. Most current rockets are chemically powered rockets (usually internal combustion engines.

which was launched to surveil enemy targets. Rockets have also been tested for reconnaissance. recon rockets have never come into wide use in the military. However. such as the Ping-Pong rocket. it is necessary to carry all the propellant to be used. they are also useful in other situations: Military A Trident II missilelaunched from a Royal NavyVanguard class ballistic missile submarine. some use other engines such as jets) or as a rocket if it is unguided.[1] Uses Rockets or other similar reaction devices carrying their own propellant must be used when there is no other substance (land. Science and research . light) that a vehicle may usefully employ for propulsion. magnetism. however. water.For smaller. A rocket and its payload together are generally referred to as a missilewhen the weapon has a guidance system (not all missiles use rocket engines. such as in space. while intercontinental ballistic missiles can be used to deliver multiple nuclear warheads from thousands of miles. or air) or force (gravity. a pressurised fluid is used as propellant that simply escapes the spacecraft through a propelling nozzle. Anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles use rocket engines to engage targets at high speed at a range of several miles. low performance rockets such as attitude control thrusters where high performance is less necessary. Some military weapons use rockets to propel warheads to their targets. In these circumstances. and anti-ballistic missiles try to stop them.

the altitudes between those reachable by weather balloonsand satellites. Due to their high exhaust velocity—2.500 to 4.500 kilometers (930 mi) above the surface of the Earth.[89] Spaceflight Space Shuttle Atlantis during launch phase Main article: Spaceflight Larger rockets are normally launched from a launch pad that provides stable support until a few seconds after ignition.600 to 10. rockets remain the only way to launch spacecraft into orbit and beyond.100 mph) (Mach ~10+)—rockets are particularly useful when very high speeds are required. 5.[91] They are also used to .5. Spacecraft delivered into orbital trajectories become artificial satellites. The world record for this is Mach 8.[88] Rocket engines are also used to propel rocket sleds along a rail at extremely high speed. Indeed.500 m/s (9. such as orbital speed (Mach 24+[90]).A Bumper sounding rocket See also: Space probe Sounding rockets are commonly used to carry instruments that take readings from 50 kilometers (31 mi) to 1. which are used for many commercial purposes.000 to 16.200 km/h.

a rocket may be used to soften a hard parachute landing immediately before touchdown (see retrorocket).rapidly accelerate spacecraft when they change orbits or de-orbit for landing. . Also.