Thread: Space Rockets
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:15 AM
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Michael is correct. Regardless of where the rocket is located, in air, in the vacuum of space, or even UNDER WATER, the "fire" coming from the rocket engine does NOT push on the surrounding molecules for propulsion(like rowing a boat), instead, the rocket engine creates force against the rocket itself, pushing the rocket away from the action. The movement of the rocket is the reaction. A HUGE factor in the forward inertia of the rocket is resistance. In most cases, it is friction or drag. No matter where the rocket is, the rocket engine will always exert the same amount of force on the rocket. It is the amount of resistance that the rocket encounters that will determine momentum, speed, and inertia. The rocket will go relatively slow under water, because water offers VERY HIGH resistance. The rocket will go very fast, and very far in air, because air has far less resistence than water. And a rocket in space can go extremely fast, and will not stop for thousands of years unless interrupted by gravity. There are stray atoms in space, but not enough to offer effective resistance on the rocket. So, when in space, the slightest burst from the engines can theoretically send the rocket on a trip for ETERNITY.
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