Showing posts with label Rockets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockets. Show all posts

Thursday, January 31, 2019

V-2 Rocket

We just learned about the Bell X-1.

Another part of rocket history is the V-2 Rocket.

During World War II when everyone was making rockets for war, the Germans made a rocket called the V-2.
It came from the German words "Vergeltungswaffe 2" meaning "Retribution Weapon 2".

It was the world's first missile that used a guidance system to make sure it hit the target.
The rocket used ethanol and liquid oxygen for its propellant, and launched itself into the air for 65 seconds.
After that it would start falling towards its target, and it used gyroscopes, accelerometers and tail fins to guide its path as it fell toward the target.

It was also the first man made object to go into outer space on June 20, 1944.

After the war, Great Britain, the USA, the Russians all used these rockets to help learn how to make rockets to launch into space.

(from: wikipedia - v-2 rocket)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Seismic Wave

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Bell X-1

We just learned about the World War II Rocket Weapons.

Another famous part of rocket history was the Bell X-1.

The Bell X-1 was actually a rocket powered airplane, that was built to go faster than the speed of sound, over 700 miles per hour!
It was made to be shaped kind of like a bullet, and with wings going straight out, not tilted back like most airplanes.

In 1947, pilot Chuck Yeager flew the X-1 to 700 miles per hour and broke the sound barrier.
The plane was carried up into the sky from another bigger plane called the B-29, and dropped so that it didn't have to launch itself.

The rocket engine on the back of the X-1 was the XLR11, the first liquid propellant rocket engine made in the US to be used in an aircraft.

It used ethyl alcohol and liquid oxygen as propellants, and had four combustion chambers.

(from: wikipedia - bell x-1)

Chuck Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier -- X-1 -- 1947 - Motherboard

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Induced Seismicity

Thursday, January 17, 2019

World War II Rocket Weapons

We just learned about the The Rocket into Planetary Space - Hermann Oberth.

Another part of rocket history are the World War II Rockets.

The science of making rockets has always been spread out between people who use them for fun to make big explosions,
people who try to make them for travel like flying into outer space,
and people who try to make them for war blow up and hurt people.

During World War II, there were many different types of rockets made for war.

Some were made for anti-aircraft, meaning they shot from the ground to try and blow up airplanes.
Others were made to launch from the ground and then land at another city and blow it up.
Still others were used to shoot from one aircraft to another.

The Germans and Russians were the ones that made the most rockets like the German Nebelwerfer or V-2, and the Russians RS-132 and Katyusha.

The Allied forces like the US or England made some ground to air rockets that they would attach to tanks or pull along like a wagon.

During this time the science of making rockets was all about war and who could blow up the other person.
It helped make the world of rockets better, but it also was very dangerous for the world as they killed over 10,000 people.
Even making these rockets was dangerous, and 20,000 people died in explosions when they were trying to make the rockets.

(from: wikipedia - bachem ba 349)

(from: wikipedia - nebelwerfer)

(from: wikipedia - katyusha rocket launcher)

(from: wikipedia - rs-82 (rocket family))

(from: wikipedia - t34 calliope)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Volcano Tectonic Earthquakes

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Rocket into Planetary Space - Hermann Oberth

We just learned about the Le Prieur Rocket.

Another part of rocket history is the book The Rocket into Planetary Space by Hermann Oberth.

Oberth lived in Germany, and after reading the science fiction books by Jules Verne he loved thinking about rockets.
He became a scientist and wrote a book about launching rockets into space called "Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen" which means "The Rocket into Planetary Space".

Later on he wrote another book called "Wege zur Raumschiffahrt" which means "Ways to Spaceflight".

In 1929 there was a movie called "Frau im Mond" which means "Woman in the Moon", and the director of the movie asked Oberth to make a fake rocket to use in the movie.

When it was made, the movie had the most real looking rocket ever made on film, with a multiple stage rocket, liquid fuel and other real parts of rocket science.

Oberth later went on to work for NASA to help make rockets for space flight.

(from: wikipedia - hermann oberth)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Earthquake Swarm

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Le Prieur Rocket

We just learned about the De Laval Nozzle.

Another part of rocket history is the La Prieur Rocket.

During World War I, a French scientist came up with the idea to shoot rockets from an airplane.
He made some rockets that were a lot like the old Fire Arrows, just a tube filled with gunpowder strapped to a stick.
Usually they would only go straight for a little over 100 yards.

People were worried that this would start the airplane on fire, so he tested it by strapping an airplane to a car and driving around, and shooting the arrows from the airplane on top of the car.
It worked, so they started putting them on airplanes in 1916.

The rockets were launched when the airplane pilot pressed an electronic ignition switch in the plane, and then the rockets would shoot off one by one.

They were mostly used to shoot down balloons that the enemy was using to spy on them.

(from: wikipedia - le prieur rocket)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tsunami Earthquake

Thursday, December 27, 2018

De Laval Nozzle

We just learned about the Nell Rocket by Robert Goddard.

Another part of rocket science is the de Laval Nozzle.

When Robert Goddard was working on his rockets, he decided to use a type of nozzle that would have a pinch in the middle.
The smaller part of the nozzle puts pressure on the burning fuel, and it comes out at a supersonic speed, burning faster than the speed of sound.

The De Laval Nozzle was actually invented by a German engineer who came up with it for steam engines.

(from: wikipedia - de laval nozzle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Supershear Earthquake

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Nell Rocket - Robert Goddard

We just learned about the L'Astronautique by Robert Esnault-Pelterie.

Another famous rocket was Nell made by Robert Goddard.

Goddard was a famous inventor who read about rockets in the books by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, and came up with the very first rocket that used liquid fuel.
He named it "Nell" and launched it in 1926.
His team launched 34 rockets, going over a mile and a half in the sky, and over 500 miles per hour.

The work he did with rockets helped get people interested in space travel and rockets.

(from: wikipedia - robert h. goddard)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Submarine Earthquake

Thursday, December 13, 2018

L'Astronautique - Robert Esnault-Pelterie

We just learned about the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation.

Another part of rocket history is the book L'Astronautique by Robert Esnault-Pelterie.

Robert was a French scientist who was studying airplanes.
He made his own "REP" airplanes not long after the Wright Brothers in America made their first flight.

A while later he got very interested in space travel using rockets, and wrote some books and papers about using atomic power for jets.

He later worked with other scientists in France to try and make rockets using liquid rocket fuel, and worked so hard that one time after an explosion he lost three fingers from his right hand!

The vectored thrust that we learned about, where the nozzle is moved to steer a rocket was first invented by him.

(from: wikipedia - robert esnault-pelterie)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Slow Earthquake

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tsiolkovsky rocket equation

We just learned about the Jules Verne - From the Earth to the Moon.

Another part of rocket science history is the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation.

Because of the wonderful stories from people like Jules Verne, a high school math in Russia named Konstantin Tsiolkovsky came up with a bunch of scientific math equations and graphs that people could use to launch rockets.

His math paper was called the Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices, and it was one of the first serious papers where people were talking about space travel.

The equation he came up with was called the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation.

(from: wikipedia - tsiolkovsky rocket equation)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Remotely Triggered Earthquakes

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Jules Verne - From the Earth to the Moon

We just learned about the HMS Erebus Rockets.

Another part of rocket science history is the book Jules Verne - From the Earth to the Moon.

In the late 1800s the famous science fiction writers Jules Verne and H. G. Wells wrote books about things that might happen in the future like rockets or space travel.

Because of some of these books, many other people came up with scientific inventions that helped make better science for how to shoot rockets.

(from: wikipedia - de la tierra a la luna)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Megathrust

Thursday, November 22, 2018

HMS Erebus Rockets

We just learned about the Congreve Rockets.

Another part of rocket history is the HMS Erebus Rockets.

In 1814 during the war of 1812 fought against the British, a ship called the HMS Erebus had a bunch of Congreve Rockets put into it, and they were shooting them at other British ships.

While this was happening a man named Francis Scott Key was watching, and thought it was so amazing he wrote the Star Spangled Banner, talking about the "Rockets Red Glare".

(from: wikipedia - hms erebus (1807))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Intraplate Earthquake

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Congreve Rockets

We just learned about the Mysorean Rockets.

Another rocket from history was the Congreve Rockets.

During a war between India and Great Britain, the British studied the rockets being used by the Indian military, and worked to make their own rockets to use for battle.

William Congreve came up with a rocket that was used for a long time for battles that used gunpowder to launch and explode when they landed.

(from: wikipedia - congreve rocket)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Interplate Earthquake

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Myosrean Rockets

We just learned about the Great Art of Artillery - First Part.

Another type of ancient rockets are Mysorean Rockets.

These were another type of rockets used as weapons by the people in India around 1780 AD when they were fighting against the people of Britain.

When the people of Britain saw these rockets, they went back home and brought the news about rocket science to Europe.

(from: wikipedia - mysorean rockets)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Doublet Earthquake

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Great Art of Artillery, the First Part

We just learned about the rocket launch of Lagari Hasan Çelebi in the 1630s.

Another part of rocket hisory is the book Great Art of Artillery, the First Part (Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima) written in 1650 by a Polish-Lithuanian general named Casimir Siemienowicz who knew a lot about rockets.

His book talked about rockets used both for war and for fun, and talked about multi stage rocketse, wings for steering rockets, and batteries for rockets.

The book is called "The First Part" but no one has ever found a second part.
Some people believe that there were other scientists from that time who didn't want people knowing all of their secrets about things like rockets so they had him killed!

(from: wikipedia - casimir siemienowicz)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Blind Thrust

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Lagari Hasan Çelebi

We just learned about the Bellifortis Rockets.

Another ancient rocket launch from history was the first manned rocket flight, by Lagari Hasan Çelebi in 1633 AD in Instabul, Turkey.

Lagari was famous for flying, and the legend of his flying says that he made a 7 winged rocket with gunpowder, and launched it in the air to celebrate the birth of the sultan's daughter.

Before he launched he said "O my sultan! Be blessed, I am going to talk to Jesus!"

After he landed in the water he swam back to shore and jokingly said "O my sultan! Jesus sends his regards to you!"

Some people think maybe this rocket wasn't real, but since it was so long ago no one can really tell for sure.

(from: wikipedia - lagâri hasan celebi)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Thrust Fault

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Bellifortis Rockets

We just learned about the Shock Diamond.

For the history of rocket science, the inventions were made either for war, or for fun like fireworks.

There was a book called Bellifortis written by a German scientist named Konrad Kyeser around 1400 AD that talks about rockets.
It says how rockets were being used for war but also for fun like fireworks.

Because there were no pictures back then, some people made drawings of the rockets, but no one knows for sure what they looked like.
In this book there was a drawing of the famous Alexander the Great holding a big rocket.

Konrad's book talks about rockets that were launched in the air, rockets that floated on the water, or rockets that were tied on a string.
These rockets probably all used the solid rocket fuel of gunpowder to launch them along.

(from: wikipedia - bellifortis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Aftershock

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Shock Diamond

We just learned about the Multi-stage Rocket.

Another part of rocket science is the Shock Diamond.

When a rocket engine is pushing itself along, the burned up rocket fuel coming out of the nozzle is the exhaust.
This exhaust sometimes is coming out faster than the speed of sound, which is called supersonic speed.

When something is moving through the air it is making waves, and when it moves at supersonic speeds it makes these special diamond shapes in the exhaust called shock diamonds.

This is all because the waves that the exhaust is making are moving faster than the sound waves can move, so they overlap and make shapes that you can see.

(from: wikipedia - shock diamond)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mainshock

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Multistage Rocket

We just learned about a rocket's Lift.

Another part of rocket science is Multi Stage Rockets.

Sometimes when rockets are going to go into outer space, the rocket is split up into a few different parts that go off at different times.

The first part of the rocket burns up all of its fuel, then splits off and falls to the ground.
When it does this, the rest of the rocket is lighter, and it starts up another rocket engine that burns and thrusts it up higher.
Each one of these parts is called a stage.
These rockets can have anywhere from 2 to 5 stages, sometimes using different types of fuel, like liquid or solid or gas.

(from: wikipedia - multistage rocket)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Foreshock

Thursday, September 27, 2018


We just learned about the Air Resistance, part of ballistics which is the science of the forces that move a rocket around.

Another part of ballistics is Lift, which is all about how the air flows underneath a rocket that helps it fly up.

You can feel lift if there is a strong wind and you put your hand out flat, the air will try to push your hand up like a kite.
The way you hold your hand changes how the wind pushes on you, and rockets can use small fins or wings to try and use lift to help them fly.

(from: wikipedia - lift (force))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Ring Fault

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Air Resistance

We just learned about Ballistics.

One part of ballistics is Air Resistance, which is also called drag.

When the rocket is flying through the air, it is pushing the air out of the way.
The shape of the rocket can make a big difference for how fast it can fly through the air.

If you think about it like pushing your hand through the water, if you point your hand it will go in the water fast.
But if you use the open flat part of your hand and smack the water, your hand will be more like a paddle and you'll slowly push the water out of the way.

We don't think about it much for air, but it works the same way for rockets trying to push through the air.
So the front of the rocket has to have a pointed shape for it to fly quickly.

(from: wikipedia - drag (physics))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Listric Fault