Rockets have been the objects of fascination for men over the years. A rocket is a aircraft, spacecraft, missile or a vehicle that is propelled using a rocket engine. The rocket engine has a propellant material carried along with the rocket that produces exhaust in the opposite direction of the propelled rocket and pushes it at high speeds in the opposite direction of the outlet exhaust gases. Rockets have been developed along a period of 2000 years across various cultures and have attained the present level. Rockets have been used in wars as inter-ballistic missiles and in space mission to moon, mars and other planets.They have been used in fireworks, ejection seats and manned space flights.
Fact 1: First instances of rocket usage in history is quite ambiguous. Even a lump of gun powder ignited would move a centimeter further and this could have led to the development of tube designs and fire arrows further by using saltpetre.
Fact 2: The first ever used rocket prototypes were arrows with explosives attached or arrows propelled by gunpowder. According to recorded history of Chinese, the first use of a rocket during battle was by Chinese in 1232 against Mongol army at Kai Feng Fu.There is a scholarly reference stating that in 998 AD a person named Tang Fu had come up with a prototype of fire arrow with a iron head.
Fact 3: Metal cylinder rocket artillery was successfully developed and deployed by Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan who were the rulers of Mysore in India in 1792. After the defeat of Hyder Ali and Tippu, the British took interest in this advanced rocket technology and developed it further in 19th century.
Fact 4: Robert.H.Goddard who was an American college professor and Scientist is considered to be the father of Modern Rocket Science. Robert flew a liquid propellant rocket in 1926. Though it climbed only 12.6 meters, it was the forerunner of Saturn V Moon rockets 43 years later.
Fact 5: The V2 ( ‘Vergeltungswaffe’ 2 in German) also called as Aggregat-4 was the World’s first long range ballistic missile that crossed the boundary of space, being developed by Germans under the leadership of Wernher von Braun. The liquid propellant rocket fueled the missile and was launched beginning 1944 in around 3000 numbers to attack the enemy cities of Germany. After the fall of Germany during World War II, the Americans, Soviet Union, British and allied European forces got hold on German Scientists and technicians and further developed the technology in their home lands.
Fact 6: The World’s first artificial satellite ‘Sputnik’ was launched on October 4th 1957 and Russia had won the first round of its foray with America into space. The design of the satellite was spherical with four antenna. It’s weight was 83.6 kilograms. The ‘Sputnik 2’ reached space two months later weighing 508.3 kilogram and carried a small dog called Lyka. The satellite orbited the space for a while and the dog died in space.
Fact 7: In the modern day rocket science, rocket fuels are of two types solid fuel and liquid fuel. A space shuttle has two solid fuel rocket boosters and three liquid fuel engines for propulsion.
Fact 8: With a height of 149 feet and a width of 12 feet, the World’s largest solid rocket is
Half the length of a football field. Thrust equaling to 6.6 million pounds were produced by the twin boosters at shuttle liftoff.
Fact 9: The first ever private launch into Earth’s orbit happened in 10th December 2010. The company pioneering commercial space travel called Space X launched Falcon 9, which is a unmanned capsule. It orbited Earth twice and landed in Pacific.
Fact 10: America’s next venture into space is Heavy lift launch vehicle, which is supposed to be economical and with 10% more thrust than the present technology and with an ability to carry heavy payloads and large crew into space. This vehicle will make travel to mars and other planetary bodies a reality.