Technologies for Space Exploration

Topics: Space Shuttle, NASA, International Space Station Pages: 10 (2614 words) Published: May 30, 2013
Technologies for Space Exploration
Describe technologies for space travel:

-Multistage rockets
* Propelled by the recoil pressure of the burning gases it emits as it burns fuel * Most modern, high performance rockets are multistage
* Multiple rockets stacked on top of each other that detach separately * Reasons for staging are
* To improve performance by eliminating dead weight during flight * A huge, empty fuel tank is merely dead weight so it is dropped off to reduce weight later in flight * Maintain acceleration by reducing thrust in mid-flight * Immense thrust required to lift fully loaded rocket is way too much for the almost empty rocket later on in flight (acceleration would be too much for both man and rocket) * Engines with lower thrust are usually used on each proceeding stage * Spent engines dropped off along with empty fuel tanks * Most Earth bond rockets (e.g. fireworks) are single stage and traveling short distances are sufficient. However, for larger rockets that need to travel into space, single stage not enough and multistage rocket required * Two types of multistage rockets staging

* Series stage
* Second stages fires after first stage finished
* Most common
* Most space rockets (e.g. explorer I, Saturn V) have been series-staged * As many as 5 stages
* Popular method is to cluster sever rockets together to provide greater thrust without having to build larger rocket * Stages of Rocket launch
* Primary stage
* First rocket engine to engage
* Provides initial thrust to send the rocket skyward * Usually the first stage is larger than others because it must transport weight of entire rocket * This engine continues to operate until its fuel is exhausted then separates from rocket and falls to ground * Secondary stage

* Once primary stage fallen away, next rocket engine engages * Second stage has much less work to do because rocket is already travelling at height speed and weight is reduced * If rocket as more stages, process will continue to repeat until rocket is in space * Payload

* Once payload is in orbit, rocket’s final stages fall away * Craft will be maneuvered using smaller rockets whose purpose is to guide the spacecraft * Unlike main rocket engines, maneuvering rockets can be using multiple times * Parallel staging

* Both stages fired together at launch
* First stage drops off mid-flight once spent, second stage continues on * Severy important missilles and space rockets are parallel stage * E.g. Atlas, Titan IIIC

* Space shuttle is a cross between airplane and a rocket
* NASA space shuttles have been rocketing since 1981
* Shuttles such as Columbia, challenger, discovery, Atlantis and endeavour have flown 130+ times, carrying over 350 people into space * Space shuttle has made travelling in space like an airplane ride * Made space travel no longer limited to trained astronauts * Can carry up to eight astronauts into space

* Passengers can now include scientists, doctors, etc.
* Shuttle is on of most reliable launch vehicles ever build * No other space system has ever flown with only 1 out of 100 lauches * Shuttle is on of most complex machines ever built
* More than 2.5 million parts
* Space shuttle has become major launching vehicle for NASA * First spacecraft to have wings
* Space shuttle consists of 3 major components
* The orbiter
* houses the crew
* Designed to make 100 flights each
* 122 ft/ 3 school buses
* At front in the nose of shuttle is flight dock where pilot and co-polot sits * Beneath them...
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