See-thru rockets are GO for launch!

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If you enjoyed that simulation then you will enjoy the Saturn V engine start and launch at 500 frames per second:


I recognize the Saturn 5 Apollo stack, and the Space Shuttle, what are the other two called?

Third to right is SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy and furthest right is NASA’s Space Launch System which is still under development.


Well, if I had a rocket launcher…


It might have been nice if they did a picture-in-picture showing the relative speeds and altitudes (and orbits) of the rockets. Though I guess only the shuttle was going for an earth orbit.

Well, all of them are headed for Low Earth Orbit (LEO), but the other three only use LEO as a temporary parking orbit before relighting their upper stages to head off to their various final destinations (Saturn/Apollo to Lunar orbit, FHeavy/Tesla to a Mars-crossing Solar orbit, and the SLS/Orion to the Gateway or the HLS lander (or… something) in Lunar orbit.)

Good illustration of how much denser kerosene is than hydrogen. See how small the squat, fat kero tank on the SV first stage is, and how much skinnier the kero-only Falcon tanks are?

Fun stuff.


And will probably remain so, at very least until Senator Shelby leaves office or dies.


This would, at a bare minimum, be stupidly expensive; but I wonder if it would at least be possible to build functional and transparent rockets.

It’s my understanding that synthetic sapphire shows up in some missile nose cones, since it is substantially more durable than glass and IR or visible band homing systems aren’t going to work so well under a layer of aluminum; but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the game changes considerably if you venture over where the cryogens live; or down in the combustion area.

Virtually certain to not be the optimal approach, since nobody is even trying it; but merely foolish or straight impossible?

If the only tool you have is a rocket launcher, everything starts to look like an orbital insertion challenge.


Damn - I miss the Shuttle. Yes it had to go, it was stupidly expensive and ridiculously fragile, BUT it looked like the way we should be going into space these days, not in tiny little conical cans. Watching Columbia finally tear away from the pad after years of delays and then swoop back home a few days later - that was the future we were promised.

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In high school I had a 1975 Plymouth Fury that burned fuel like that. I could watch the gas needle move as I drove down the road.

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people make Transparent engine demos


For some reason the first thing that came to mind was :slightly_smiling_face: (Gen-X flashback alert) water rockets:


Neat video, thx!

Mini shuttle x-37b with the prototype “solar collector” aka death ray is launching tomorrow aboard Atlas V 8:24am EST


There is (or was, I’m going back a while) quite the sophisticated water rocket community. I’m talking multi-stage rockets with telemetry and guidance systems.


The vid doesn’t show what actually “injected” the Space Shuttle into orbit — the two little OMS engines located at the base of the vertical tail. Those used hypergolic propellants; very nasty stuff.


Yeh, at Main Engine Cutoff, the stack’s trajectory was still sub-orbital, so that when they detached the main tank, it would re-enter ballistically without having to maneuver. Then the orbiter’s OMS engines would make the final push to orbit.

Yep. Those propellants are why shuttle landings involved everyone standing off at a distance until they could tow a wind machine into place, and then guys in hazmat suits would approach from upwind to check for leaks.


The engines – Aerojet AJ-10 — are classics, having first flown in 1958. They were used on a whole bunch of upper stages, and also as the Apollo Service Module’s main engine.

Some shuttle OMS engines will actually be reused as the Orion spacecraft’s Service Module main engine. NASA has been removing both the RS-25 main engines and the AJ-10 OMS engines from the museum-piece shuttles and recycling them as use-once-and-throw-away disposables for the SLS/Orion program.



Years ago, a colleague (and friend) — a skinny little guy — was exposed to MMH while visiting our company’s off-campus Santa Susana lab . I hadn’t seen him in a couple of weeks when he walked into our office — swollen. His body… torso, arms, legs, face were swollen. He stayed pretty much like that for several weeks; slow, slow recovery. Poor bastard.

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