AVSC 1010 Lecture 6 - Lecture 6 From Fireworks to Space...

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Lecture 6 From Fireworks to Space Exploration Rockets were invented by the Chinese, modified by the Europeans, and finally in this century became our means of reaching the moon and the planets. A rocket is a device which burns liquid or solid chemicals to create a gaseous reaction or controlled explosion for high speed propulsion. This burning reaction causes the expansion of gases which propel the rocket opposite to the direction of the expansion of the gas. The most important physical principle in rocketry is Newton's Third Law of Motion--for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Rockets were invented, however, several hundred years before Newton's works were ever published. The first mention of rockets in written material comes from the Chinese, in 1232. The earliest rockets used gunpowder as their fuel, and were used to frighten enemy troops and to present fireworks displays. The European nations perfected gunpowder rocketry for use in military conflicts. From the design of the gunpowder rocket came the cannon, which uses the same principles of a 'controlled explosion' to launch projectiles. The cannon would later be used to invent the gun. A British Army Captain in the 1770's, William Congreve, built successful solid fuel rockets which were used for bombardment and to light up the sky during military assaults. These same rockets were used in the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. The U. S. National Anthem by Francis Scott Key, describes ". ..the rockets red glare. ..", which were Congreve rockets. Rockets were also used during the U. S. Civil War and many European conflicts, but advancements in cannon technology made their use rare until after World War I. Extra-credit Activity: search on the Internet or at your local library to find out how the large fireworks (mortar or artillery shells) obtain their chemical propulsion. Describe which chemicals are used to ignite the propulsive material, and how the propulsive material is lifted into the air. Write a short paragraph about your findings, citing the sources from which you obtained the information, and e-mail it to the instructor. Great scientists paved the way for modern rocketry, just as Cayley and Lilienthal paved the way for the first airplane flights. These scientists discovered how to make rockets travel faster, higher, and become useful for not only military but civilian uses. The Russians produced one of the most important scientists, Konstantin Tsiolovsky. Tsiolovsky wrote important papers and concepts about the design of liquid fueled rockets, including the use of liquid oxygen and hydrogen to power rockets, in the early 1900's. He also developed mathematical formulas for staged rockets which could eventually escape the gravity of the Earth and go into space. Tsiolovsky never built a rocket, but his writing inspired others to do so. Perhaps as important as Tsiolvsky's writings, were the novels of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne,
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This note was uploaded on 09/04/2011 for the course AVSC 1010 taught by Professor Green during the Fall '11 term at Utah Valley University.

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AVSC 1010 Lecture 6 - Lecture 6 From Fireworks to Space...

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