A jet fighter plane is very powerful, but it can’t fly into space. Why not? There is no oxygen in space to power the engine!

All fuel needs oxygen to burn, but a rocket engine does not need air It carries its own supply of oxygen.

Planes get oxygen from the air. But rockets get oxygen from a substance called an oxidizer. Some space rockets use solid fuels with solid oxidizers. They work in the same way as a fireworks rocket-a fireworks rocket as big as a 10 storey building!

Other space rockets use liquid fuels and oxidizers, so that the engines can be switched on or off.

The liquids are pumped into a special part of the rocket called the combustion chamber. Here the fuel burns violently to thrust the rocket upwards further away from the earth.

The Saturn V moon rocket burned over 2,120,000 litres of fuel during its first 105 seconds of flight. This pushed the rocket off the launching pad with a huge amount of force. If you want to get to the moon and back again you have to think big-really big!

Fireworks rockets are displayed at many festivals. Fuel in a fireworks rocket burns like fuel in a rocket engine. In fireworks, the fuel is charcoal and sulphur. The oxygen is supplied by a solid oxidizer called saltpetre. This mixture burns very hot. The gases given off push in all directions against the inside of the rocket. The gases that push against the top of the rocket make the rocket go! The fireworks rocket has a stick that keeps it pointed in the right direction. 


Picture Credit : Google