The Rocketry Portal

A Soyuz-FG rocket launches from "Gagarin's Start" (Site 1/5), Baikonur Cosmodrome

A rocket (from Italian: rocchetto, lit.'bobbin/spool') is a vehicle that uses jet propulsion to accelerate without using any surrounding air. A rocket engine produces thrust by reaction to exhaust expelled at high speed. Rocket engines work entirely from propellant carried within the vehicle; therefore a rocket can fly in the vacuum of space. Rockets work more efficiently in a vacuum and incur a loss of thrust due to the opposing pressure of the atmosphere.

Multistage rockets are capable of attaining escape velocity from Earth and therefore can achieve unlimited maximum altitude. Compared with airbreathing engines, rockets are lightweight and powerful and capable of generating large accelerations. To control their flight, rockets rely on momentum, airfoils, auxiliary reaction engines, gimballed thrust, momentum wheels, deflection of the exhaust stream, propellant flow, spin, or gravity.

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 for the Space Age, including setting foot on the Moon. Rockets are now used for fireworks, missiles and other 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 fuel with an oxidizer. The stored propellant can be a simple pressurized gas or a single liquid fuel that disassociates in the presence of a catalyst (monopropellant), two liquids that spontaneously react on contact (hypergolic propellants), two liquids that must be ignited to react (like kerosene (RP1) and liquid oxygen, used in most liquid-propellant rockets), a solid combination of fuel with oxidizer (solid fuel), or solid fuel with liquid or gaseous oxidizer (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. (Full article...)

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Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, commonly referred to as SpaceX, is an American spacecraft manufacturer, launch service provider and satellite communications company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and ultimately developing a sustainable colony on Mars. The company currently produces and operates the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets along with the Dragon and Starship spacecraft.

The company offers internet service via its Starlink subsidiary, which became the largest-ever satellite constellation in January 2020 and, , comprised more than 6,000 small satellites in orbit. (Full article...)
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In the news

22 May 2024 –
Russia launches a Soyuz-2 rocket carrying the Kosmos 2576 satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome launch site in Arkhangelsk Oblast. The United States Space Command accuses it of being an anti-satellite weapon capable of attacking other satellites, and is in the same orbit as a satellite operated by the National Reconnaissance Office. (Al Jazeera)
19 May 2024 – Russian invasion of Ukraine
At least six people are killed and 27 others are injured in a Russian double tap missile strike on a recreation area near Kharkiv. Separately, five people are killed and nine others are injured in a Russian strike using a multiple launch rocket system on two villages in Kupiansk Raion, Kharkiv Oblast. (Reuters)
10 May 2024 – M23 offensive
The death toll from rocket strikes on an IDP camp in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, increases to 35. (AP)


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The swing arms move away and a plume of flame signals the liftoff of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
The swing arms move away and a plume of flame signals the liftoff of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
Credit: NASA
Launch of Saturn V at the start of Apollo 11.

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