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If Rockets were Transparent


If Rockets were Transparent



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  1. This highlights a neat thing about the solid rocket boosters that the shuttle (and eventually the SLS) use. The ignition point is actually at the very *top* of the booster. There’s a hollow star-shaped tunnel running down the middle of the fuel grain so instead of burning from bottom to top, the boosters burn from the inside out. That way there’s more surface area burning at once, and the interior of the casing doesn’t get exposed to the flame, since it’s insulated by the fuel itself.

    Edit: another neat thing. It shows how much denser the RP-1 fuel that the Falcon Heavy uses (red) is compared to the liquid hydrogen that the shuttle used (orange). The red fuel in each of the Falcon’s cores weighs more than all of the Orange fuel in the shuttle’s external tank (something like 8x more if I remember correctly).

  2. From Left to Right:

    **Saturn V**: 1st stage fuel of RP-1 (refined kerosene) and LO2 (liquid oxygen) using 5 F-1 engines, 2nd stage of LH2 (liquid hydrogen) and LO2 using 5 J-2 engines, and a 3rd stage of LH2 and LO2 with 1 J-2 engine. Used for the Apollo Lunar missions and Skylab.

    **Space Shuttle**: 2 four-segmented Solid Rocket Boosters with 3 RS-25 engines fueled by LH2 and LO2. Various missions to Low-Earth orbit, most notably launching and servicing the Hubble Space Telescope and constructing the International Space Station.

    **Falcon Heavy**: 2 side boosters and a core stage filled with RP-1 and LO2 each using 9 Merlin engines (27 total), 2nd stage of RP-1 and LO2 powered by 1 vacuum-optimized Merlin engine. Spacex’s super heavy-lift vehicle, most notably known for launching a Tesla roadster, but will be used for a variety of commercial and government launches.

    **Space Launch System Block 1 (planned 2021 Flight)**: 2 five-segmented Solid Rocket Boosters, core stage of LH2 and LO2 using 5 RS-25 engines, and 2nd stage of LH2 and LO2 using 1 RL-10 engine. Will be used to support NASA’s Artemis missions, which aims to land a human on the moon in 2024.

  3. One thing that would have been neat to show is when between staging, there is a moment where the upper stage is experiencing no thrust as it detaches from the lower stage. The thrust from the lower stage was applying a force to the fuel inside the tanks keeping it at the bottom of the tank. Once this thrust is cut off the fuel would be in freefall and start sloshing around in the tank. This can cause an issue with igniting the second stage as the pumps might not be able to deliver fuel to the engines thus preventing a new force being applied to the fuel again keeping it at the bottom of the tank. There a couple ways to deal with this. Some rockets had little solid boosters on them to give the rocket a kick in the right direction to push the fuel to the bottom again, some added backpressure into the tanks, some have anti sloshing gates.

  4. I really enjoyed this. Is there something similar that shows the speed difference over time from lift off? It’s crazy how much faster Electron is compared to larger tickets

  5. Wow I was today years old when I found out the solid rocket boosters on the shuttle only burn for like 2 minutes.

  6. I never realized how much of the space shuttle’s flight was on its own rockets and not the boosters. I thought the boosters were drawing fuel from the central tank, not the shuttle.

  7. I think I would have enjoyed the video more if they include some textual information, and include these interesting annotations being made in the comment section.

  8. I had no idea the shuttle provided so much boost on the way up. I thought it was mostly/only the outer boosters, and the shuttle…uh…coasted.

  9. I have been watching random rocket videos for years. All of them are damn cool but this one also so weird?

  10. Why does the tank fall back to Earth while the shuttle keeps going? In the video the shuttle does not appear to have any thrust at that point, so what gives?

    edit: I meant the large external tank, not the boosters.

  11. Why isn’t some kind of linear catapult or rail system efficient? I’m sure it’s not because we don’t. But it just seems like a ground mechanism that could harness electrical power lines to give a rocket velocity to then or in conjunction burn on it’s own thrust would allow for massively more payload or extended range.

  12. Really emphasizes how awkward and off-center the Shuttle system is. All the others are radially symmetric with a center of thrust under the center of mass. But nooooo, the Shuttle system has to be different and edgy…

  13. Wow. This is just like those Japan comics where the penis is in side the vagina and you can see the sperm blast all inside the girl, but for robot cocks.

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