Flying into orbit, at times, seems just an ordinary event. We have been launching objects into orbit for several decades now. Over time, it seems that the knowledge of the first attempt to send an object into the atmosphere was lost. One lone American was very absorbed into the science of this very thing. He had an obsession about him. John
Goddard spent endless hours trying to perfect a small rocket launch. Though it sounds simple, lighting a fire underneath a small projectile, and make go in a straight line toward the heavens, is very detailed orientated.
In a book written by Arthur C. Clark, he talks about early work that was done in the world of rocketry, but at the time it was only for entertainment. It happened hundreds of years ago. One of the first experiences with rockets came from “thirteenth century Chinese” (Clarke 71). Today, the technology is so advanced; flights of hundreds of miles are not uncommon.
In the beginning of rocket experimentation, there were many trial and errors. They would fire up the engine of a projectile in hopes of a spectacular launch into the atmosphere. Many times it would only result in some kind of explosion. Catastrophe, if anything, is the nature of launching any projectile.
Mans attempt to send objects toward the clouds has sparked interests in going further than ever before. The moon and the outer planets of our solar system have now become an obsession with not only the science community, but with a lot of ordinary folks as well.
In order to satisfy this obsession, ways had to be found in order to get to these distant objects. The world we live on is small compared to the surrounding planets and universe but it is large compared to the complexities of ways to leave its attracting body. Gravity is the attraction that needs to be to be addressed in order to leave this world. Like the orbits of our neighboring planets and satellites, man needed to find ways to reach the outer boundaries of earth.
What does it take to send an object into orbit anyway? Early experiments from the Germans showed that the resistance of the atmosphere against the projectile slows the velocity of an object down. “A good example of this is the Me.163. In vacuum, where its motor could still operate, though of course the control surfaces would be useless, this machine would attain a speed of 2,700 miles per hour when it had burnt all its fuel. In
actual practice, once it has reached about 600 miles per hour all the remaining fuel is used to overcome drag” (Clarke 72). Though the Germans were not intending to send this object into orbit, it did show that more work was required in order to get there.
In order to get an object into a low earth orbit, scientists used gravitational laws that Isaac Newton had established years earlier. Escaping gravity can be an interesting task. Clark explains further in his book “The rocket can, however reach regions where “g” is very small, and it can attain velocities which,...