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Launch Vehicles and Sensing Technology. How Rockets Work. Newton's Laws of Motion are: An object at rest tends to remain at rest An object in motion tends to remain in motion For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Conservation of Momentum.

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how rockets work
How Rockets Work
  • Newton's Laws of Motion are:
    • An object at rest tends to remain at rest
    • An object in motion tends to remain in motion
    • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
conservation of momentum
Conservation of Momentum
  • Newton's Laws are all contained in a more general principle called conservation of momentum.
  • Momentum is mass times velocity
  • In a system that is not disturbed from outside, the total momentum stays constant.
conservation of momentum means
Conservation of Momentum Means:
  • If velocity is zero, momentum is zero (Newton's First Law)
  • If velocity is not zero, and mass doesn't change, then velocity doesn't change (Newton's Second Law)
conservation of momentum and newton s third law
Conservation of Momentum and Newton’s Third Law
  • If mass changes somehow, then so does velocity.
  • If an object is stationary, and flings off mass, the rest of the mass moves in the opposite direction.
  • The flung off mass has positive momentum, the rest has negative momentum, and the total momentum remains zero (Newton's Third Law).
rockets and jets
Rockets and Jets
  • Rockets and jets work according to Newton's Third Law.
  • They fire mass out at high speed and acquire velocity in the opposite direction.
  • They do not need something to push against. They move because they are expelling exhaust gases at high speeds.
  • Tthe rocket or jet is pushing mass away, and the mass is pushing back (equal and opposite reaction.)
how rockets and jets differ
How Rockets and Jets Differ
  • Rockets and jets expel mass by burning fuel.
  • A jet gets the oxygen for combustion from the atmosphere
  • A rocket carries oxygen in some form with it.
  • Thus rockets can function outside the Earth's atmosphere; jets can't.
rockets are mostly fuel and oxygen
Rockets are Mostly Fuel (and Oxygen)
  • A rocket or jet has to carry all its remaining fuel with it. (And oxygen, if it’s a rocket).
  • Most of the mass of the Space Shuttle is fuel, and most of that is used to get the remaining fuel off the ground.
  • The miles-per-gallon fuel economy of the Space Shuttle in its first foot off the ground is pretty terrible!
about orbits and satellites
About Orbits and Satellites
  • Satellites travel elliptical paths with the center of the Earth at one focus (Kepler's First Law)
  • Inertia causes object to continue moving in a straight line
  • Gravity pulls object to Earth
  • Balance between the two = orbit
important orbits
Important Orbits
  • Low vs. High Inclination
  • Almost all are Prograde
  • Polar Orbits for global coverage
  • Circular Orbits strongly preferred
    • Constant altitude
    • Constant speed
  • Sun-Synchronous
  • Geosynchronous
about orbits
About Orbits
  • You do not need to expend fuel to stay in orbit
  • Satellites need attitude control fuel to correct for atmospheric drag, lunar and solar gravity, etc.
  • May want thrusters to help maintain orbits
  • Spin stabilization helps
  • Once below 200 km, atmospheric braking leads to re-entry
three pioneers of rocketry
Three Pioneers of Rocketry
  • Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935)
    • Worked out theoretical problems of spaceflight
  • Robert Goddard (1882-1945)
    • First Liquid Fuel Rocket
  • Hermann Oberth (1894-1989)
    • Helped create operational rockets
from sapwood to sputnik
From Sapwood to Sputnik
  • An existing rocket, the SS-6, was used.
  • The warhead section was removed
  • A cluster of four more SS-6 engines was bolted around a central engine
  • Very Dependable
sputnik i
Sputnik I
  • October 4, 1957
  • S- (with) + put’ (path) +-nik (one who) =Sputnik
  • Literally, one who follows the same path
sensor technology
Sensor Technology
  • Passive (senses only ambient signals)
  • Active (emits signals)
  • Imaging
  • Non-Imaging
  • Scanning (mechanical or electronic)
  • Non-scanning
a noble myth
A Noble Myth

“In my life, I've seen the images from space of a blue-white-green world — there are no political lines drawn on this planet.

  • Luis J. Rodriguez

“The border between the United States and Mexico is an imaginary line. It cannot be seen from space”

  • The Border Zone:A History of Trade between the United States and Mexico, Julia Albright; Age of Irony, Winter 2004