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I /' 5000 = : //~.. s ::::·:::·::·:::··t::·:.. 6. Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation. l In most cases, the final velocity of the rocket needs to be known, and here the appropriate value is the mass ratio when all the fuel is exhausted. Unless otherwise stated, the final mass ratio should be assumed. The rocket equation shows that the final speed depends upon only two numbers: the final mass ratio, and the exhaust velocity. It does not depend on the thrust, rather surprisingly, or the size of the rocket engine, or the time the rocket burns, or any other parameter.

As embod ied in the first orbiter, Columbia, the Shuttle concept enabled re-use of the engines and control systems; propellant was carried in a disposable drop-tank , and solid boosters were used , which could be re-charged with propellant for re-use. After a ten-year development programme, the first Shuttle flew in Apri l 1981. The total mass was two thousand tonnes, and the thrust at lift-off was 26 M N- bolh around 60% of the Saturn V. The height was 56 m. about half that of the Saturn V. The orbiter was fitted wit h three liq uid hydrogen- liquid oxygen 12 Principles of rockel propulsion [Ch.

The first manned operational launch took place in December 1968, and the first lunar landing mission was launched on 16 July 1969. The mission took eight days, and the astronauts returned safely, having spent 22 hours on the Moon. As a milestone in technology, the Saturn V was unique in the twentieth century; and as a human achievement, Apollo 11 was unique in the history of the planet. There was a strong hope that Apollo 11 would be the first step in a concerted effort towards human exploration of space-in particular, the planets.

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