SPACE TODAY ONLINE    Covering Space From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
Cover Rockets Satellites Shuttles Stations Astronauts Solar System Deep Space History Global Links

What's Inside a Rocket?

Ariane 504 flight 119 lifts off from Kourou For example, let's look at expendable boosters using liquid fuel. The core stages of most space launchers today are these so-called liquid rockets. Such a rocket is a collection of parts stacked vertically with the payload on top: Visually, the cylindrical fuel tanks make up most of a rocket. Rocket engines are complicated and not tolerant of defects. Hydraulics are much like those in airliners while electronics aren't much more complicated than ordinary computers. A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) launcher does not need the extra protection of radiation-hardened electronics.

© 2000 Space Today Online Spaceports Rockets STO Cover What's New? Top of this page
  Search STO About STO Feedback Questions E-Mail