Rocket fuels

Rocket fuels

From early test rockets first launched in the 1920s to communication satellites of the 1950s to the reusable Space Shuttle of the 1980s, the human expansion into space is an amazing engineering feat. Successful space travel depends on rockets possessing high-enough thrust velocity to overcome the gravitational force of the Earth. The first rocket was launched in 1926 using a liquid fuel of gasoline and liquid oxygen oxidizer.

Rocket engineRocket engine

Subsequently, different fuels and oxidizers have been used in either solid or liquid form. The Space Shuttle uses liquid hydrogen as the fuel, but the launch engines use solid fuel of aluminum and ammonium perchlorate as the oxidizer with binder.

Properties of rocket propellants

 

Did you know?

In the past few years, NASA has been conducting experiments with an safe propellant which is comprised of aluminum powder and water ice (ALICE), and which its gaining its energy from the chemical reaction between these elements. Its advantages include a more environment friendly character than that of any former rocket fuels, and it also provides rockets with the possibility of being loaded in places remote from the Earth.