A rocket is a vehicle that carries people, animals, plants or anything else into space. Rockets are powered by rocket engines. The exhaust is produced mainly from propellants stored inside the rocket. In this page, you can learn more about rockets and the people who died making space travel possible.
A rocket or rocket vehicle is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction. Rocket engines push rockets forwards simply by throwing their exhaust backwards extremely fast.
Rockets for military and recreational uses date back to at least 13th century China. Significant scientific, interplanetary and industrial use did not occur until the 20th century, when rocketry was the enabling technology of the Space Age, including setting foot on the moon.
Rockets are used for fireworks, weaponry, ejection seats, launch vehicles for artificial satellites,human spaceflight and space exploration. While comparatively inefficient for low speed use, they are very lightweight and powerful, capable of generating large accelerations and of attainingextremely high speeds with reasonable efficiency.
Chemical rockets are the most common type of rocket and they typically create their exhaust by the combustion of rocket propellant. 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.
History of rockets
The availability of black powder (gunpowder) to propel projectiles was a precursor to the development of the first solid rocket. Ninth century Chinese Taoist alchemists discovered black powder while searching for the elixir of life; this accidental discovery led to experiments as weapons such as bombs, cannon, incendiary fire arrows and rocket-propelled fire arrows.The discovery of gunpowder was probably the product of centuries of alchemical experimentation.
Exactly when the first flights of rockets occurred is contested. 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 first reliable scholarly reference to rockets in China occurs in the Ko Chieh Ching Yuan (The Mirror of Research) which states that in 998 A.D. a man named Tang Fu invented a rocket of a new kind having an iron head. There were reports of fire arrows and 'iron pots' that could be heard for 5 leagues (25 km, or 15 miles) when they exploded upon impact, causing devastation for a radius of 600 meters (2,000 feet), apparently due to shrapnel. The lowering of the iron pots may have been a way for a besieged army to blow up invaders. The fire arrows were either arrows with explosives attached, or arrows propelled by gunpowder, such as the Korean Hwacha.
Less controversially, one of the earliest devices recorded that used internal-combustion rocket propulsion, was the 'ground-rat,' 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.
Subsequently, one of the earliest texts to mention the use of rockets was the Huolongjing, written by the Chinese artillery officer Jiao Yu in the mid-14th century. This text also mentioned the use of the first known multistage rocket, the 'fire-dragon issuing from the water' (huo long chu shui), used mostly by the Chinese navy.
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