A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle that obtains thrust from a rocket engine.
In modern usage, a missile is a self-propelled precision-guided munition system, as opposed to an unguided self-propelled munition, referred to as a rocket.
A rocket engine is a type of jet engine that uses only stored rocket propellant mass for forming its high-speed propulsive jet.
Thrust is a reaction force described quantitatively by Isaac Newton's second and third laws.
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Rocket engine exhaust is formed entirely from propellant carried within the rocket before use.
A propellant or propellent is a chemical substance used in the production of energy or pressurized gas that is subsequently used to create movement of a fluid or to generate propulsion of a vehicle, projectile, or other object.
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Rocket engines work by action and reaction and push rockets forward simply by expelling their exhaust in the opposite direction at high speed, and can therefore work in the vacuum of space.
In fact, rockets work more efficiently in space than in an atmosphere.
Multi-stage rockets are capable of attaining escape velocity from Earth and therefore can achieve unlimited maximum altitude.
In physics, escape velocity is the minimum speed needed for an object to escape from the gravitational influence of a massive body.
The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position with respect to a frame of reference, and is a function of time.
A multistage rocket is a rocket that uses two or more stages, each of which contains its own engines and propellant.
Compared with airbreathing engines, rockets are lightweight and powerful and capable of generating large accelerations.
Light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
To control their flight, rockets rely on momentum, airfoils, auxiliary reaction engines, gimballed thrust, momentum wheels, deflection of the exhaust stream, propellant flow, spin, and/or gravity.
Gravity, or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass are brought toward one another, including planets, stars and galaxies.
Gimbaled thrust is the system of thrust vectoring used in most rockets, including the Space Shuttle, the Saturn V lunar rockets, and the Falcon 9.
In Newtonian mechanics, linear momentum, translational momentum, or simply momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object.
Rockets for military and recreational uses date back to at least 13th century China.
China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia.
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.
The Space Age is a time period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events.
Rockets are now used for fireworks, weaponry, ejection seats, launch vehicles for artificial satellites, human spaceflight, and space exploration.
Space exploration is the ongoing discovery and exploration of celestial structures in outer space by means of continuously evolving and growing space technology.
In aircraft, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency.
A weapon, arm, or armament is any device used with intent to inflict damage or harm to living beings, structures, or systems.
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.
A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases chemical or nuclear energy as heat or to be used for work.
In chemistry, an oxidizing agent is a substance that has the ability to oxidize other substances — in other words to cause them to lose electrons.
Combustionmol of heat and reduces the enthalpy accordingly :
The stored propellant can be a simple pressurized gas or a single liquid fuel that disassociates in the presence of a catalyst, two liquids that spontaneously react on contact, two liquids that must be ignited to react, a solid combination of fuel with oxidizer, or solid fuel with liquid oxidizer.
Liquid fuels are combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create mechanical energy, usually producing kinetic energy; they also must take the shape of their container.
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.