How much energy does it take to get a rocket into space?



  1. 0 Votes

    A lot. For any object to escape the Earth’s gravity and travel into space it must achieve escape velocity, which is typically 11.2 kilometers per second. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to achieve that speed, which helps explain why mankind did not launch anything into space until 1957 when rocket technology was evolved enough to do it. Exactly how much energy it takes to achieve escape velocity depends on the object being launched, because the rocket you use has to generate enough thrust to overcome its own weight as well as achieve escape velocity. A fully-loaded space shuttle, for example, consumes about 230.4 pounds of fuel for every pound of payload it carries into orbit–that’s a total of 11,520,000 pounds of fuel, both solid and liquid, expended on every flight, accounting for a tremendous amount of energy. The shuttle is atypical, however, as most space launches are smaller unmanned satellites, but any type of launch capability at all is prohibitively expensive for all but the most well-funded governments (USA, China, Russia) and international organizations (European Space Agency).

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