Header image: Computational fluid dynamics simulation of a NASA X-43A hypersonic aircraft (image source: NASA.) “Go at throttle up…” Launch control call-out during Space Shuttle launches Follow us on social media! Recall the last time you watched a rocket launch.… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: Max q and Bernoulli’s Principle
All articles generated by our volunteers that address the design, manufacture or deployment of the machines that will enable the exploration and future inhabitation of Mars.
Header image: Cherenkov radiation in a nuclear reactor (image source: Argonne National Laboratory.) “This is not nuts, this is super-nuts.” Richard Courant, on viewing a test of the Project Orion nuclear propulsion system Last installment, we delved into the inner… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: Nuclear Thermal Rockets
In our previous article, we covered the basics of rocket engines, but we only scratched the surface when it came to fuel-oxidizer combinations. While hydrogen-oxygen and kerosene-oxygen dominate the world of launch vehicles, numerous other propellant combinations are in common… Read More »Rocket Physics, Extra Credit: Rocket Fuels
Header image: SpaceX Raptor test fire (image source: SpaceX.) “Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world; knowing they’re going to light the bottom, and doesn’t get a little worried, does not fully understand… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: Rocket Engine Engineering
This is a follow-up to Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: How to go to Mars which covered the basics of orbital mechanics. Building on our foundation of intuitive understanding, we will now cover the more technical aspects. What is an… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: How to go to Mars – Extra Credit
“There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams In this series, Rocket Physics, the Hard… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: How to Go to Mars
“Rocket science is tough, and rockets have a way of failing.” – Sally Ride, NASA astronaut To go to Mars, we need rocket science. But why is rocket science so hard? In this series, Rocket Physics, the Hard Way, we… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: The Tyranny of the Rocket Equation