How are solid fuel rockets controlled

2. Space shuttles

2.2 missiles

Missiles are used to launch objects (usually satellites) into space. In order to get something into space, however, a very large push is necessary. A basic distinction is made here between solid drives and liquid drives.

1. Solid propulsion

consist, as the name suggests, of a solid mass. Before the mass becomes solid, however, it is poured into a mold in the liquid state and hardens there. Solid rockets are mainly used as boosters for space shuttles or for military purposes.
Advantages: The advantages of solid rockets are that the fuel can be stored very easily. You don't need a tank device for solid rockets or a combustion chamber, because the mold in which they were poured will later be the combustion chamber. In addition, the rockets are relatively cheap to manufacture and the storage and use is much easier and safer than liquid rockets.
Disadvantage: However, there are also some disadvantages, e.g. that the combustion is difficult to control. The fuel always burns at the same speed and it is not possible to stop or restart the combustion. Solid rockets are also relatively heavy compared to liquid rockets. The walls of the solid fuel booster must be made of relatively thick steel, as there is very high pressure inside the combustion chamber. This also makes a solid rocket significantly heavier, the larger it is.

2. Liquid drives

get their thrust from liquids. The most common method is the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen.
Advantages: Liquid rockets have a significantly higher thrust than solid rockets. The thrust can be controlled. You can switch the drive on and off and also control how much it should accelerate. Burning produces only environmentally friendly gases (water vapor).
Disadvantage: A very complicated technique is required. Since the hydrogen and oxygen are pumped out of the tanks during the combustion, the center of gravity of the rocket changes constantly. To compensate for this, complicated calculations are necessary before the start. The technology and manufacture for liquid rockets is more expensive and complex than solid rockets. This technique is also more dangerous than solid-off rockets, as a leaky tank or the wrong mixing ratio can damage the rocket or even explode.

As already mentioned in point 1.1, the idea of ​​space travel is already old. However, since 200 or 300 years ago there were neither the necessary materials nor scientists who knew their way around, manned space travel began around the time of the Second World War. The German A4 (Aggregat 4, better known under the propaganda name V2) was the first functioning large rocket. After the Second World War, the rocket scientist Wernher von Braun worked on improving his V2. Ever larger and more powerful missiles were developed. This development continues to this day.

At the moment the Ariane 5 (liquid propulsion + 2 solids boosters) is the most powerful rocket in Europe. It was developed and built by ESA (European Space Agency, practically the European counterpart to NASA). The Ariane 5 can take around 23t of payload and transport it into space. However, the term "payload" is confusing. Actually, it is wrong to say that a rocket has a certain payload. The 23t of the Ariane 5 depend heavily on the orbit into which the load is to be transported. In a 200km high orbit, the Ariane can still carry around 20.5t. In a 400km high orbit (ISS), on the other hand, there are only 18t. With a geo-stationary orbit (1,000 to 36,000 km) as it is used for satellites, it is only just under 7t.