Rocket power provides the boom, the smoke, and the fire to launch endless possibilities and unlock high-powered achievements. Are you ready to discuss the Rocket Revolution? In 5…4…3…2…1…Blastoff! Yes, the rocket is revolutionizing the world as we know it today. Who would have thought this object we call a rocket could entertain, inspire, protect, discover, and transcend beyond Earth’s gravitational pull and enter the deep abyss of space?
Start of the Rocket Power Revolution
Did you know men were envisioning objects with rocket-like qualities as early as the B.C. era? The history of rockets dates back to Archytas (428 to 347 B.C.), a Greek philosopher, who built and flew a bird-like device propelled by a jet of steam or compressed air.(1) While this may not have been a rocket to the Moon, this could be where thoughts of the boom, smoke, and fire all began – over 2,000 years ago.
Then, in the A.D. era, Chinese rockets, i.e., arrows with a tube of gunpowder that produced flying fire,(2) were used to protect and to celebrate. Of course, this was only the start, but these early rocket-like objects paved the way for several rocket pioneers. Braving this frontier are greats such as Konstantin E. Tsiolkovski (who is sometimes considered the Father of Cosmonautics and Human Spaceflight), Hermann Oberth, and Robert H. Goddard (often referred to as the Father of Modern Rocketry)(1). Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket,(1) which was the predecessor to rockets such as the V2 and the Saturn V.
Becoming a part of the Rocket Power Revolution
Needless to say, not everyone is able to build a rocket. However, endless amounts of time have been spent in the “how to’s” of rocketry: how to make a rocket; how rockets work; and how to develop a water rocket, a model rocket, and bottle rocket designs. Now, children and adults of all ages can engage in rocket science. From water rockets to soda bottle rockets to the diet coke and Mentos rocket, everyone should be able to try their hand at building a rocket. And who knows, research may even spark the model rocket fuel to develop model rocket plans of your own.
The Rocket Power Revolution in Popular Culture
Rockets have made their home in popular culture, flying into musical groups (The Age of Rockets), clothing (Rocket Dog Brand Shoes), cooking (Rocket Stove and Rocket Grill), toys (The Razor Pocket Rocket), and lyrics (Elton John’s “Rocket Man”). Elton John's lyrics even paved the way for rockets to launch onto the big stage when William Shatner performed a reading of his song at the 1978 Saturn Awards. Additionally, rockets have propelled their existence in the world of transportation, powering various vehicles including the rocket bike, the rocket scooter, and the rocket car.
The Rocket Power Revolution in Huntsville, Alabama
The Rocket Revolution was the inspiration for the nickname given to the city of Huntsville, Alabama – “The Rocket City.” The Rocket City is home of the Space and Rocket Center and the Von Braun Center, named after the legendary Dr. Wernher von Braun. Dr. von Braun who led the team that constructed the V2 Rocket powered by alcohol and liquid oxygen; the precursor to modern rockets. Huntsville is also the home of the Rocket City Marathon, which has been taking place for over 30 years. Redstone Arsenal produces the Redstone Rocket, a weekly military newspaper serving the Arsenal personnel. And, most recently, the Rocket City Space Pioneers. A team of highly qualified engineers and scientists boldly racing back to the Moon to display their commitment to the quest for space knowledge and to help power the future of space exploration.
Kristil Battle, Dynetics
Rocket Power References:
1. Shearer, Deborah A. and Gregory L. Vogt, Ed.D. "Educator Guide: Rockets." National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
2. http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/rocketry/tl1.html. Retrieved on December 1, 2010.
OTHER PAGES ABOUT ROCKET POWER
Wernher von Braun and his team were moved to Huntsville in 1950. The rocket program went into full swing in the 1950s, producing the Redstone Rocket among countless others. In 1960 NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center was opened on Redstone Arsenal, with von Braun as its first director.
Ancient Chinese Rockets: Around 1500, a Ming Dynasty official named Wan Hu, decided to use his nation's advanced rocket technology to become the first man in space. He attached 47 small rockets to a chair. Dressed in his finest clothing, Wan sat down holding the strings of two kites that would help guide his flying vehicle.
The Ares rockets were two now-cancelled launch vehicles that were to have replaced the retired space shuttles. The Ares I rocket was designed to send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft into low Earth orbit, while the larger Ares V booster would have supported human missions to the moon, asteroids and Mars. The rockets were named after the Greek god Ares, known as Mars by the Romans.
The space shuttle's boosters remain the largest solid-fuel rockets ever flown – and the first to be used as primary propulsion for a human spaceflight system. The advantage of solid rocket fuel is that it can be safely stored for long periods of time and then launched quickly.
Liquid fuel rockets: On the cold day of March 16, 1926, Dr. Robert H. Goddard made history in Auburn, Massachusetts. His liquid-fuel rocket named "Nell", powered by gasoline and liquid oxygen, rose from its launch frame into the winter sky. The little rocket reached just 41 feet in a flight that lasted only 2.5 seconds before landing in a cabbage field.
The V-1 rockets were different. When we usually think of rockets, we imagine a missile rising vertically from a launch pad. However, the German Air Force's pilotless "buzz bombs" looked and flew a lot like conventional airplanes, were catapulted from ground ramps or air launched from bombers, and used advanced jet engines for propulsion.
V-2 rocket: On the clear, bright morning of Oct. 3, 1942, a nervous Wernher von Braun stood atop a building at the German Army's Peenemunde research facility. He stared out intently into the distance at a new type of weapon.
Gemini Rockets: The Gemini program was a stepping stone between the single-man Mercury program and the Apollo program. The goal was to test out technologies and techniques for landing men on the moon.
Building and flying two-liter bottle rockets is one of the best ways to teach students about rocketry, propulsion, and aerodynamics. So, what exactly is a bottle rocket? It consists of a two-liter soda bottle that is filled with water and pressurized with air.
On February 20, 1962, John Glenn sat inside of his Freedom 7 capsule waiting for the countdown to reach zero as the Atlas rocket below him creaked and groaned. The booster's stainless steel walls were so thin that the rocket would have collapsed if its balloon fuel tanks hadn't been pressurized with nitrogen gas.
When NASA looked at the Delta rocket back in 1959, the American space agency didn't see much of a future for it. Then a funny thing happened. The Delta rocket proved to be highly reliable.
Wernher von Braun grew increasingly nervous as the clock struck 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 1, 1958. Over an hour earlier, an upgraded Redstone rocket he had built launched America's first satellite, Explorer 1, into space. Or had it? Von Braun wouldn't know until tracking stations in California picked up the spacecraft's signal. And that should happen right now.
NASA has used many space rockets during the past half century. These boosters have sent astronauts into Earth orbit, a dozen men to walk on the moon, and hundreds of satellites to explore space and the planets.
German troops were the first to suffer an attack from Katyusha rocket launchers fired by Soviet troops under the command of Capt. Ivan Flytorov. This was the first time that the weapons system, which had been in development for three years, was used in combat.
Rocket Cars: Who Invented the Rocket Car? The rockets were lit, and the vehicle screamed down the track at a top speed of 47 miles per hour (75 km/h). Volkhart had made history by driving the first rocket car in history.
Von Braun Spaceship Designs: Although Wernher von Braun is best known for his work on rockets, he was also a prolific designer of spaceships. Nowhere are von Braun's skills in spaceship design more on display than in his plans for the exploration of Mars. Not only were his designs radically different from anything we know today, they were on an incredibly ambitious scale.
An electric rocket creates thrust by accelerating beams of ions using either electromagnetic or electrostatic force. Ion rockets are highly efficient although the amount of thrust they produce are very small compared with chemical propulsion.
Despite its name, a rocket stove has nothing to do with space travel. It's not a rocket powered by a stove, or a rocket-powered stove, or a stove aboard a rocket ship headed for Mars. Instead, it is a highly efficient, low-emission, inexpensive, and easy-to-build wood-burning system that is helping to revolutionize cooking in the developing world.
Rocket Sled History: Prior to beginning the research, many experts believed that humans could not survive forces above 17 g's. However, Stapp proved them wrong, gradually exceeding this level. Near the end of the program, he was subjected to 46.2 g's and lived to tell about it. For his exploits, he became known as the "fastest man on Earth."
Are rocket bikes for real? We have all seen commercials for automobiles that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds. But, what about a bicycle that can do that? Tim Pickens and his friend Glenn May started out their rocket bike experiments on a small scale by attaching a 35-pound thrust rocket engine filled with ordinary roofing tar to the back of the bicycle.
A History of Rocket Ships: Rocket ships went through a number of different designs in the years before the first ballistic missile, the German V-2, flew in 1942. Science fiction authors usually depicted ships that were quite different from the ones that eventually launched satellites and humans into space.
What is a sounding rocket? Sounding rockets carry instruments and experiments to altitudes of 31.25 to 938 miles. This region is above the maximum altitude of balloons, which is about 25 miles.