It should not be surprising that chemical rockets derive their thrust from chemical reactions. The reaction between a rocket fuel and an oxidizer (a chemical compound containing oxygen) releases a tremendous amount of energy. The energy is released as new chemical bonds are formed in the “burning” process. Channeling the energetic reaction products outward from the vehicle using a directional nozzle produces thrust. The hot gas goes one way, the rocket ship the other, and momentum is conserved. Chemical rockets are propelled by reactions of either liquid or solid fuel combinations. Solid fuels are generally easier to store for long periods of time; liquid propellants are typically more energetic.
KeywordsSpace Shuttle Velocity Increment Earth Escape Exhaust Velocity Firework Display
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