What is a rocket?A rocket can describe any object that is propelled by fast moving liquid or gas! Most rockets have a nose or cone at the top, a body that houses the fuel and fins at the base. Rockets are usually powered by a chemical reaction (explosion) within the rocket itself. This chemical reaction requires both fuel and oxygen, both of which must be carried within the rocket. The fuel and oxygen are called the propellant. There are two types of propellant, liquid propellant and solid propellant. A solid propellant rocket is easier, simpler and cheaper to make. However, these rockets are harder to guide and control as once the chemical reaction is started it is hard to stop. A liquid propellant rocket is more complex and expensive to make but the burning of the liquid fuel is allot easier to control.
A bit of historyThe Chinese were the first to invent rockets when they started filling bamboo tubes with gunpowder and lighting them. Rocket science really began with an English man called Isaac Newton. He formulated three laws to explain the physics of motion. These laws explain how rockets work!
Newton‛s 3rd Law of Motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction!
To understand this law think of a balloon full of air. If the balloon is untied and the air suddenly let out, it will escape the balloon with such force that it will propel the balloon in the opposite direction. The force of the air leaving the balloon is called the thrust! The thrust that powers the launch of a rocket comes from the force of the gas (generated by the burning fuel) being ejected from the rear of the rocket!
The first liquid propellant rocket was launched in 1926 by an American called Robert Goddard. He is considered the father of modern rocket