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Begons18
2018-Nov-23, 08:47 PM
Simple question here. How does a rocket or space shuttle propel itself through space if there is no matter in space? Obvious easy answer is Newtonís law but I just donít see the logic in it. I know I donít have to because who am I You now? But I just need a break down greater than how thrust works in space and how itís proven for a fact.

Thanks.

Jens
2018-Nov-23, 11:58 PM
I imagine that a good way to understand it is to remember if you have ever fired a gun or thrown a heavy object. With a gun you can really feel the recoil, which has to do with the fact that the momentum of the bullet has to be counteracted by the recoil of the gun, and clearly air is not dense enough to do that, otherwise the bullet would quickly stop.


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Hornblower
2018-Nov-24, 01:04 AM
This is an example of Newton's principle of equal action and reaction at work. The expanding propellant in the combustion chamber is pushing against the inertia of the propellant that is being expelled through the nozzle, and is pushing equally hard against the front end of the chamber. This gives the rocket a shove. No outside air is needed. In fact, the surrounding air actually makes the rocket less efficient.