“Where no man has gone before” , Space – the final frontier.
My favorite phrase from the Star Trek franchise pretty much sums up why rockets are significant. Any human soul with a high wanderlust will dream at the least once about frolicking through the boundary-less space jumping from galaxy to galaxy, running through a nebula, stretching among the stars, share a drink with friends enjoying a cosmic event show and be lulled to sleep by the gentle hum of the universe.
So you pick up your backpack, stuff in a pack of chocolate chip cookies, a block of groundnut chikkies, a jeans and few tees, all the essential toiletries, those black yeezys and finally your two favorite plushies.
But alas, which train do you board or which plane do you catch?
Aha! That is why, we need is a ROCKET!
One of the fundamental forces of the earth – gravity, pins us down to the ground. It is primarily an attraction force. So, as love keeps people together, gravity keeps the entities of earth and universe connected. Though you can never escape love, fear not; you can still escape gravity! To escape this, we gotta start from the ground, travel upward against earth’s gravitational pull and reach a speed of about 25000 mph (40000 km/hr ~ 11 km/s). To escape the Sun, we need a speed of 42 km/s and to escape our beautiful galaxy, we need about 300 km/s.
But remember, just like the fading flame of love, gravity is always there, it is just not strong enough. (I feel like a philosopher! *grin* ).
So rocketeers launch the rocket, keep tilting it slowly until it becomes parallel to the earth’s surface (giving us these beautiful trajectory pictures as the one below), reach a parking orbit and then blasts-off again to its destination.
Are chemical rockets the only entities than can do this? Currently, yes. There are a few cool non-rocket space launch techniques like the Slingatron, StarTram, Space Elevator, Skyhook etc. which are still in various developmental stages.
And that is why, my friend, rockets are freaking amazing!