First space rocket: photo, video
First space rocket: photo, video

First space rocket: photo, video

A rocket is an aircraft moving in space due to the action of jet thrust, which occurs as a result of the rejection of a part of the working fluid (own mass) of the device and without the use of a substance from the environment. Since the flight of the rocket does not require the presence of the surrounding gas or air environment, it is possible both in the atmosphere and in a vacuum. Under the concept of "rocket" may fall under a wide range of flying objects: from festive firecrackers and ending with a space launch vehicle.


The word rocket in military terminology refers to the class, most often, unmanned aerial vehicles used to destroy remote targets and apply the principle of jet propulsion for flight. Due to the wide variety of use of missiles in the armed forces, by different types of troops, a wide class of different types of missile weapons was formed. But when was the first space rocket launched? That is what we will tell you below.

Photo 1

The first space rocket


The appearance of launch vehicles was preceded by the development of ballistic missiles. One of them was the German "V-2". It was used by the Americans in the hope of "reaching out" to space. At the beginning of 1944, several launches were attempted. The rocket was able to gain altitude in 188 km.


But more significant results could be achieved only in 5 years. Then the Americans at the White Sands launch site launched a rocket, which consisted of 2 stages: V-2 and VAK-Kapral rockets, which was able to climb 402 km.


In the second half of 50, Soviet science and technology gained the biggest victory — the first in the world Sputnik space rocket developed and launched into space under the leadership of S.P. Queen.


October 4 1957, the rocket was launched and carried into space an artificial earth satellite weighing 836 g. It was primitive and was called ps 1. The launch was held at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The rocket coped with its task - it was able to put into orbit the first artificial satellite of the Earth. The development of the carrier rocket “Sputnik” has provided new opportunities for scientific research.

Photo 2

The launches of the Sputnik rocket, as well as its Sputnik-3 modifications, were made 4 times, of which 3 were successful. Then, on its basis, a whole family of launch vehicles was created, which were distinguished by increased power values ​​and other important characteristics.


The two-stage launch vehicle consisted of five blocks: 4 side blocks (blocks B, C, D, D), which were in total first. Step, and 1 central (block A), which is the second stage of the rocket.


The weight of the first rocket with a full supply of fuel is 267 tons, and the weight of the second - 58 tons. The dry weight of the rocket "Sputnik" 22 tons. These indicators indicate a high structural perfection of the system. It contained 93 as a percentage of the weight of both stages and about 7 percent for the remaining components of the structure, including engines.


  • The absolute length of the rocket - 29,167 meters.
  • The diameter of the air steering - 10,3 meters.
  • The length of the side blocks - 19 meters, diameter - 3 meters.
  • The length of the central unit - 28 meters, diameter 2,95 meters.


Sputnik installed liquid rocket engines, characterized by high energy characteristics for that period. The GDL-OKB team led by V.P. Glushko. The RD-107 engine with 4 main combustion chambers and 2 steering with 1 common turbo-pine aggregate is installed on all the first-stage units. At the launch of the rocket, all engines developed 99,5 tons of thrust. The total thrust of all 4 engines of the first stage units was 398 tons.

rocket "Sputnik"

The central unit of the rocket (second stage) had an RD-108 engine with 93 tons of tonnage from the Earth. Its 4 steering and 2 main combustion chambers were fed by a common turbo pump unit. Both the helmsman and the main engines worked on liquid oxygen and kerosene, and the TNA turbine worked on 82 decomposition products of hydrogen peroxide.


During the start, the engines of all five blocks, the first and second stages of the Sputnik, immediately turned on. Their total thrust is 491 ton. As we ascend into increasingly thin air layers, the thrust only increased. In the “emptiness”, the RD-107 reached 102 tons, and the RD-108 reached 96 tons. The specific thrust of the engines of the first stage on Earth was 250 with, and the engine of the second stage in the "emptiness" reached 308 with.


The rocket "Sputnik" is equipped with a reliable control system that meets the most stringent requirements. It was created by a group of specialists led by N.A. Pilyugin.


After 1 a month after the launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth, 3 on November 1957, the second launch vehicle launched into orbit the first biological artificial satellite of the Earth, in an absolutely sealed cabin of which was the dog Laika.


The total mass of the equipment, the power supply sources of the second satellite and the experimental animal exceeded 500 a kilogram. In May, the 1968 of the same type rocket “Sputnik” lifted into space the 3 Soviet satellite, weighing 1327 kg. This time it was a multi-purpose automatic flying laboratory with a huge number of different scientific instruments, a multichannel telemetry system and other onboard equipment. Thanks to the launch of these satellites, the beginning of the comprehensive exploration and development of outer space was laid.

Photo 3

The space program of the USSR, developed at the end of 50-ies., Provided for the need to increase the energy capabilities of launch vehicles, with the result that the payload mass would increase. In accordance with the task, the team headed by SP Korolev (chief designer of rocket-comic systems) began to actively improve the two-stage rocket and based on it created a three-stage, followed by a four-stage rocket. With an insignificant increase in the starting weight, such missiles raised the payload in 3, and even in 4 times larger than Sputnik.


The modern stage


Currently, the most powerful are the Proton-M launch vehicles of domestic production, the European Arian-5, and the American Delta-IV Heavy. The launch of a rocket of similar types allows putting a payload weighing up to 200 tons into orbit (25 km in height). Such devices can deliver approximately 6-10 tons to the geo-intermediate orbit and to the geostationary orbit - 3-6 tons.

rocket launch "Proton-M"

The Proton launch vehicles deserve special attention, as they played a significant role in space exploration. They were used for the implementation of various manned programs, including for sending modules to the Mir space station. With it, the Zvezda and Zarya, the most important units of the ISS, were delivered to space. Despite the fact that not all the useful launches of such missiles were successful, Proton still remains the most popular launch vehicle: approximately 10-12 starts every year.


Missile launches: statistics


In general, since the beginning of the 20 century, activity on the cosmodromes of the world has dropped significantly. If we compare the two leaders in this industry - Russia and the United States, the latter each year produce far fewer launches compared to the first country. In the period from 2004 to 2010, the 102 missiles were launched from America’s launch site and successfully completed their tasks. In addition, there were 5 failed launches. In Russia, 166 starts successfully, and 8 ended in an accident.

crash during the launch of the Proton launch vehicle

Among the number of unsuccessful launches of devices, the Proton-M accidents are particularly noticeable. From 2010 to 2014 year, as a result of such failures, not only the American launch vehicles, but also several satellites and even one foreign device were lost. Of course, this situation with one of the most powerful launch vehicles could not be ignored: officials were fired, as well as those involved in the occurrence of failures. In addition, projects began to be created to improve the space industry in Russia.


Today, like 50 years ago, man is no less interested in space exploration. The current stage is characterized by the possibility of fruitful international cooperation, which is effectively implemented in the ISS project. But many points need improvement, revision or modernization. I want to believe that with the use of new technologies and knowledge, statistics of launches in the future will be more rosy.