Space Propulsion

.. lectromagnetic, electrothermal and electrostatic. They are, in some ways more a rocket of the future then one of the present, somewhat like the NERVA project (see next section). In the electrothermal system the propellant is heated or vaporized electric heaters. The hot gas is then expanded through a nozzle the way it is in a chemical rocket.

In an electrostatic system, interacting electrostatic fields and small charged particles such as colloidal particles achieve acceleration. In an electromagnetic rocket, acceleration is achieved by placing propellant plasma (a high temperature, electrically natural gas that contains electrons, ions and neutral molecular species) in an electromagnetic field thus causing a reaction that releases thrust. Nuclear Rockets Unlike the aforementioned rockets, nuclear rockets do not generate its power through chemical combustion. The way its power is formed, is through nuclear fission. It heats a propellant like hydrogen in a fission reactor and the explosion expels the propellant at amazing speeds, which exceed twice what any other rocket can produce. Its efficiency rating is around 850, as compared to the 450 of the next best type, the cryogenic rocket. Unfortunately due to the extreme dangers of nuclear fission inside a shuttle, the main project for researching the nuclear rockets, NERVA, was scrubbed.

Most likely, in the future, scientists will devise a plan to minimize the risks, whereupon research will begin again. SECTION 3 A History INTRODUCTION The third section of this report shall begin by indicating the steps in which rocketry was created, as to allow the reader of this paper to better understand the way rockets work. It shall show the works of Tsiolkovsky, Goddard, Oberth and a few others. The report shall then end in a detailed conclusion. The conclusion will be based on the summary and discuss all that has been written.

It shall end in giving opinions as to the future uses of the specific areas found in the research. Development of Modern Rocketry EARLY HISTORY In around 1232 AD, in China, rockets were created. During the war with the Mongols, the Chinese would strap an early form of gunpowder to the shaft of an arrow. This made them fly longer and faster than any of the regular arrows that the Mongols used. About ten years later, in Europe, another major discovery was made.

An Englishman, Robert Bacon, created a more practical formula for gunpowder. He did this by mixing 41.2 parts saltpeter, 29.4 parts charcoal and 29.4 parts sulfur. He was able to distill saltpeter, which produces oxygen, to allow the rocket to burn faster. In the 18th century, the British encounter encountered rocket warfare with India. The Indians probably learned the secret of rocket treat from Arab traders in the 17th century.

The Indians, who were led by Hyder Ali, gave thousands of men the task of throwing rockets. The rockets were first thrown, then propelled itself. They attached an eight foot long bamboo stalk to six pound iron tube filled with fuse and powder. The rockets were able to fly up to 1.5 miles. Modern Discoveries Tsiolkovsky Tsiolkovsky, a Russian teacher, established that a rocket would work in the vacuum of space, in 1883.

In 1903, he wrote a book explaining how space travel was possible, using liquid propelled rockets. He created drawings of possible space ships propelled by either liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen or liquid oxygen and kerosene. The sketches also show valves to transport the liquid propellant into a combustion chamber and showed how vanes could be created in the exhaust for steering. He also illustrated the crew lying on their backs in a pressurized cabin in order to withstand the pressure of such high speeds. Tsiolkovsky also thought of rocket staging.

Rocket staging is a series of rockets that fire one after the other. When one finishes and the other fires, the useless rocket is jettisoned. He thought this was the only way to put heavy objects such as satellites into space. Goddard Although Tsiolkovsky thought up the ideas of advanced rocketry, still more had to be considered, and it had to become reality. The next pioneer, was the father of American rocketry, Robert Goddard. He first, created a bazooka type rocket.

The bazooka was fairly large solid-propellant rocket. In 1919, he wrote a text called A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. Two years later, he bagan to experiment with the liquid fuels that Tsiolkovsky. In 1926, Goddard finally launched the first liquid propelled rocket. It was fueled by gasoline and liquid oxygen.

It rose to a height of 41 feet and traveled at 60 miles per hour. It only traveled 56 meters but it set the foundation for the future of rocketry. In May 1935, he released a rocket that featured gyro controlled exhaust vanes which pushed it to travel 1.5 miles above the ground at a totally unprecedented 700 miles per hour. GERMAN ROCKET SCIENTISTS In 1923 a German rocket scientist Hermann Oberth published The Rocket Into Planetary Space. He favored liquid propellants, as Goddard, because of their power.

His experimentation inspired the creation of the Society for Space Travel. The society passionately experimented with ways to improve the liquid propellant rocket. On February 21, 1931, a member of The Society for Space Travel, Johannes Winkler, launched the second liquid fuel rocket. Winklers rocket was propelled by liquid methane and liquid oxygen. It failed totally, going a mere ten feet forward.

Three weeks later another rocket ascended to about 2000 feet. The entire Society for Space Travel began working on two rocket series, the Mirak and Repulsor. The late model Repulsors could reach an altitude of 1 mile. When The Society for Space Travel ran out of money, they made a demonstration of the Repulsor for the German Army. A member, Werner Von Braun compiled some statistics for the army who gave it to Hitler. They realized that this did not violate the treaty which did not allow them to build airplanes. Hitler started the Army Weapons Department. Von Braun was placed in charge of rocket development. Within a few years Von Braun was experimenting with highly developed rockets and was firing them in secret at the island of Birkum.

In 1934 he created two rockets, that could ascend to over 1.5 miles. After that, The Society for Space Travel fell apart due to financial problems. In 1937, a rocket research station was constructed on the Baltic coast. Here the Germans created such rockets as the famous V-1 Buzz Bombs, and the mammoth V-2 which were really rocket-powered flying bombs. Conclusion In this research, it has been demonstrated how all rocket engines work.

It illustrates how propellants are moved into a combustion chamber, and expelled at extremely high speeds. It shows the properties of efficiency, the basic measure by which all rockets are compared. It shows how efficiency is measure by specific impulse, which is calculated by the propellants exhaust velocity divided by g. It has given a basic comparison as to the efficiency of various rockets and has shown the reasons for being at their respective ranks. Also shown, is the pioneering of rocketry starting in the mid 1200s. All this has shown the basic properties of space propulsion. Bibliography http://www.asi.org/adb/04/03/09/01/ – the Rocket Engine Specifications page from the Artemis Project (http://www.asi.org/ ) Data Book http://www.orbireport.com/Data.html -the Orbital Report News Agency’s Launch Vehicle database http://leonardo.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/home.html – JPL’s Mission & Spacecraft Library http://solar.rtd.utk.edu/%7Emwade/spaceflt.htm – Mark Wade’s “Encyclopedia Astronautica” http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-new sref/stsref-toc.html – The Space Shuttle Reference Manual http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/tech/sep.html – Solar electric propulsion on the Deep Space 1 probe “Rockets” Sutton, George P Groliers Online Encyclopedia.

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