Read more about the article Payload Fairings
Fairings recovery. Credits: SpaceX

Payload Fairings

The payload fairing is the equipment used to protect the spacecraft and the third stage during the early portion of the boost phase when the aerodynamic forces from the atmosphere could affect the rocket. It is almost always in form of the nose cone at the top of the rocket that protects the spacecraft payload against the impact of dynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating during launch through an atmosphere. An additional function on some flights is to maintain a cleanroom environment…

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Read more about the article Octaweb Structure
Engines are placed at offset. The smaller black holes is for the gas generator exhaust. Credits: SpaceX

Octaweb Structure

Merlin engines are arranged in an Octaweb Structure. ‘Octa’ means eight and ‘web’ structure as it depicts radiating lines from the center. The Octaweb is a metal structure that supports eight engines surrounding a center engine at the base of the launch vehicle.  Falcon 9 v1.0 and v1.1 engine. Credits: Craigboy/Wikipedia What is its purpose? The short answer is stability. The Octaweb also reduces the length and weight of the Falcon 9 thrust structure, simplifying the rocket’s design and assembly. Streamlining…

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Read more about the article Merlin Engines powering Falcon 9
Single Merlin engine under test conditions. Credits: SpaceX

Merlin Engines powering Falcon 9

Falcon 9 is powered by a Merlin engine. It has the highest thrust-to-weight ratio of any boost engine ever made, while still maintaining the structural and thermal safety margins needed to carry astronauts. Merlin engines use RP-1 and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle. The Merlin engine was originally designed for sea recovery and reuse. Propellants are fed via a single shaft, dual impeller turbopump. The turbopump also provides high-pressure fluid for the hydraulic actuators, which then…

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Read more about the article Wernher von Braun: Apollo Architect
Wernher von Braun after surrendering to U.S. forces German rocket engineer Wernher von Braun (with arm in cast) and his brother Magnus (second from right) after surrendering to U.S. forces, May 2, 1945. MSFC/NASA

Wernher von Braun: Apollo Architect

Wernher von Braun was a German engineer who played a prominent role in all aspects of rocketry and space exploration, first in Germany and after World War II in the United States. He designed and developed the German V-2 rocket and was the Chief Architect of the Saturn V rocket, designed primarily for the Apollo Space Missions. Dr. Wernher von Braun Photo credits: NASA As a youth, he became enamored with the possibilities of space exploration by reading the work of…

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Read more about the article Katherine Johnson: The Human Computer
Katherine Johnson (2008). Photo credits: NASA

Katherine Johnson: The Human Computer

"Katherine G. Johnson refused to be limited by society's expectations of her gender and race while expanding the boundaries of humanity's reach."President Obama Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician who calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program. Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon. She calculated the precise trajectories that would let Apollo 11 land on the moon in 1969 and, after Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk, let…

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Read more about the article Tipu Sultan & The World’s First War Rocket
A painting showing the British forces confronted with Mysorean rockets

Tipu Sultan & The World’s First War Rocket

It is far better to live like a lion for a day then to live like a jackal for hundred years.Tipu Sultan Tipu Sultan, also known as Tipu Sahab or the Tiger of Mysore, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore based in South India and a pioneer of rocket artillery. Tippu was instructed in military tactics by French officers in the employ of his father, Hyder Ali, who was the Muslim ruler of Mysore. In 1767 Tippu commanded a…

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