- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Important Figures in Aerospace History

By:   •  Essay  •  662 Words  •  February 12, 2010  •  871 Views

Page 1 of 3

Join now to read essay Important Figures in Aerospace History

"Any of various simple or complex tube like devices containing combustibles that on being ignited liberate gases whose action propels the tube through the air: used for pyrotechnic effect, signaling, carrying a lifeline, hurling explosives at an enemy, putting a space vehicle into orbit, etc."

A 231.90 ft high, 49 ft span, 1,616,800 lb behemoth that exerts 1,949,090 lbf during takeoff. Compared to "nell", Robert Goddard's first successful liquid fuel rocket; it rose to a maximum height of 41 feet. This drastic change happened in less than 70 years. Who made this quantum leap of technology possible in such a short period of time and who laid the framework for the modern rocket?

Prelude to Rocketry

Ptolemy was a genius of his time; he was a Greek mathematician, geographer, astronomer, and astrologer. Ptolemy had many major contributions of the time period, but the most influential contribution was his embracement of the solar system, also known as the Ptolemaic system. In the Ptolemaic system, the earth was the center of the universe. Ptolemy combined existing information to create a model that would last nearly 1,500 years.

Ptolemy's geocentric system stood for 1,500 years until Nicholas Copernicus, a polish astronomer, proposed that the planets have the Sun as the fixed center, which their motions are to be referred. That the Earth is a planet, which besides orbiting the Sun annually, also turns once daily on its own axis; and "that very slow, long term changes in the direction of this axis account for the precession of the equinoxes." While Copernicus's theories, in terms of accuracy, were about the same as Ptolemy's. Copernicus's theories did correctly explain many key concepts missing in Ptolemy's work.

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Sir Isaac Newton came up with the science of rocketry. He published a book titled "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica", which described physical principles in nature. In this book Newton claimed three key rules that govern the motion of all objects; these are now called Newton's laws of motion.

1.Objects at rest will stay at rest and objects in motion will stay in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

2.Force is equal to mass time acceleration.

3.For every action there is always an opposite and equal reaction.


Continue for 2 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Important Figures in Aerospace History and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)