Does Rocketry Work beyond Earth's atmosphere?

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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby simonshack on Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:44 pm

rusty wrote: Do you entirely question the existence of the repulsion principle? That would be a new twist I'd need to go and figure out indeed.

Rusty,

I don't think Hoi nor anyone here is questioning the existence of what you call the 'repulsion principle' ( I call it 'recoil force' / or 'recoil effect' - but please correct me if this is not what you mean by 'repulsion principle').

See, my feeling is that it's precisely the other way round: it is the NASA 'apollogists' (who defend the strange idea that rockets "actually move BETTER in a vacuum") who seem to be the ones who - absurdly enough - 'deny the existence' of the surrounding air and its predominant role in making a rocket move. Predominant? Well - if you at least agree that rockets are ALSO propelled by pushing on the surrounding air (and not ONLY by 'recoil effect') - should we not start calculating the relative action-reaction RATIO of these two forces? Has anyone done this before?

Also, may I call "friction" (for the purpose of this discussion) the force that the compressed air in a water rocket applies on the surrounding air? Surely, if you just suspend (upside-down, with a string) an uncompressed soda bottle in a vacuum chamber - and remove the tap - the bottle won't be propelled upwards by the "recoil effect" alone of the soda exiting the bottle? The question is: would a compressed soda bottle do so? But let us talk a little about "friction":

From Wickedpedia's "NEWTON'S LAWS" page:
"In swimming, a person interacts with the water, pushing the water backward, while the water simultaneously pushes the person forward—both the person and the water push against each other. The reaction forces account for the motion in these examples. These forces depend on friction; a person or car on ice, for example, may be unable to exert the action force to produce the needed reaction force"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s ... _third_law
.

So I think what we all are debating here really breaks down to this (deceptively) simple - yet evasive - question: would not a car spinning its wheels on ice (and thus NOT moving forward) be equivalent to a rocket's frictionless thrust upon an empty (air-less) environment? The "recoil force" in this case would be the energy transmitted by the explosions inside the car's engine > to the car's wheels - yet the car would remain motionless. To be sure, NASA claims that the surrounding air has little (or NO?) role in propelling their rockets upwards. Is this not akin to saying that "the water surrounding a dolphin has little (or NO) role in propelling the dolphin forward"? Would a wiggling dolphin suspended from a ceiling-rail in a vacuum chamber move forward with the same, tremendous speed it can attain in water? Will it move at all?
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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby rusty on Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:56 pm

Thanks Simon and Flabbergasted, I think I'm starting to get it. Still it's vital to point out that this "recoil effect" (let's stick with this term, sorry for the confusion) actually does exist and also plays an important role in the water rocket physics.

Maybe it's helpful to get back to a very basic experiment - a bullet fired from a simple toy gun with a spring (not explosives). Air pressure should not play a big role here, and I think it's quite obvious that the spring force would act in both directions, so it's pushing both the gun and the bullet (with the same force but different outcome due to different mass). And this works the same in a vacuum.

So can we suspect that what's generally considered as "recoil force" is nothing else than a simple "separation" force caused by two (or more) objects pushing on each other?

And if you (somehow) remove the bullet from the spring gun and simply charge and discharge the spring...nothing would happen. There's no force on the gun, of course.

In a water rocket the compressed air is acting like the spring, pushing the water and the bottle from each other. Furthermore, yes, the water is mixed with air and expelled and thus pushing against the surrounding air. So, yes, a water rocket would probably work less efficiently in a vacuum, too.

Back from here to the original question of the thread, leaving the law of free expansion aside for now: If gases are expelled from an exhaust based rocket, are those gases really pushed (separated) from the rocket? By means of their own force? Does that make sense? Seems more likely that force is separating the rocket from the surrounding air.

I think we can agree: At least rocket propulsion should work much less efficiently in a vacuum. This could, however, be countered with the argument, that no friction is applied to the rocket nose.
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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby simonshack on Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:26 am

rusty wrote:So can we suspect that what's generally considered as "recoil force" is nothing else than a simple "separation" force caused by two (or more) objects pushing on each other?

And if you (somehow) remove the bullet from the spring gun and simply charge and discharge the spring...nothing would happen. There's no force on the gun, of course.

Rusty, I like your spring gun example - as a figurative action/reaction to help us wrap our heads around this.

Indeed, we may think of our "recoil effect" as the force acted by a spring pushing two objects away from each other.

So let's see - what does ESA (the European Space Agency) say about the amount of fuel being shot out of their 760.000kg ARIANE 5 rocket? Well, they say that their rocket releases a fuel mass of 2000kg every second. The "recoil force" of that mass being ejected every second is, they say, what makes their big rocket take off and shoot up into the sky (NOTE: no figures are given as to how much force - if any - is generated by the atmospheric pressure of the rocket's thrust against the surrounding air - nor whether this obviously existing action/reaction force contributes in any way towards lifting these 760.000kg off the ground). In fact, both ESA and NASA tell us that their rockets are NOT propelled by pushing against air - but only and exclusively by virtue of Newton's Third Law (our "recoil effect").

So let us put this into a simpler perspective. Let us place a compressed spring between a tennis ball - weighing 57g - and a huge medicine ball weighing 21,6kg . You see, this is approximately the same mass-to-mass ratio (1/380) as that between the above-mentioned 2000kg of ejected-fuel-per-second / and the big 760.000kg ARIANE 5 rocket :

ImageImageImage


We now release the spring - and see that the tennis ball shoots away at great speed - while the medicine ball hardly moves. Now, let us imagine that we can somehow feed a continuous flow of tennis balls to that spring - in such way that the mass of one (57g) tennis ball gets ejected every second. Will the medicine ball move much more / any faster? Would the "recoil force" generated by this constant flow of tennis balls propel the medicine ball at any significant speed? And could this continuous amount of force (joules-per-second) produced by the ejected flow of tennis balls - if applied underneath the medicine ball - possibly make it lift off from the ground and shoot up in the sky?
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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby CitronBleu on Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:33 am

Yes, if the speed of the spring releasing it's energy is the same as the exhaust velocity of Ariane's fuel, 2,400 m/s, the medicine ball will begin to move up, as long as the force of spring velocity x weight of ejected tennis balls per second is superior to the force of gravity pushing down (9.8m s).

If that force is equal to 10.0 m s, the medicine ball will theoretically move up, at a speed of 0.2 m s (or would "travel" 20cm) just like a rifle recoil would push back against one's shoulder with a certain force (equal to a certain, unconstrained, "distance").

In addition, if there is a continuous flow of tennis ball weight being pushed out of the medicine ball, the medicine ball velocity will increase incrementally since, with the same force pushing up, it will become lighter and lighter.

The key words here are exhaust velocity.
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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby lux on Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:56 am

When a dog pisses on a tree does the tree exert a force on the dog?
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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby dblitz on Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:17 am

brianv, with all due respect, how can you challenge anyone to describe the behavior of something, and how it interacts with something else if you cannot prove it is there in the first place? Or, in this case, not there. How can you claim to know what characterizes the space between planets and why assume that it is something less existent than what a planet is? What we are discussing is outer space, not 'nothingness,' which has never existed. There has never been nothing.

I don't like the name of this thread, it's a dogmatic statement about a reality with which we have no experience, and I don't think it's worthy of clues forum. Reality is, every assumption in the standard model of astronomy rests on the force of gravity acting on bodies in a vacuum, a set of dynamics that has never been shown to exist outside of a computer simulation.

Much of the micro, atomic and sub-atomic worlds, and the macro, galactic and super-galactic worlds can only be known by analogy. They are understood via mathematics and models that have never been 'proven' by direct observation because you simply cant get that big or that small, you can only describe observations digitally, through measurement, but since very few people can understand the mathematics completely enough, an analogy is used describing a 'force' or a 'law' but it is only a convenience, no such things exist, regardless of how many scientists demand that they become 'truth.'

Regardless of how 'self-evident' the nature of space might seem, it's just another piece of 'common knowledge,' which is what NASA primarily exists to perpetuate.

Who says space is not more dense than our atmosphere? How do we know rockets dont push against some substance that exists between the atoms of atmosphere? The thinner the atmosphere got, the more thrust you would get! Is that what space is, something even more immovable than matter? I'm not saying I believe that, I'm just trying to make you think.

Who says matter is not a vacuum of space?

So my challenge to you brianv, and whoever is responsible for naming and re-naming threads, is this:


Prove a vacuum exists in nature.

Prove Space is a vacuum.



I've been homeless for a while, with only intermittent internet access but I have a new place now so I can post more and make the graphics I need to illustrate my ideas. I want to put a bit of life back into this thread and I'm starting by asking the doubters to question some assumptions about space and energy. I really think space travel is possible (unmanned at least) and a reality, though perhaps not for the reasons you might expect. My new house is number 11, by the way <_<
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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:49 am

dblitz wrote:There has never been nothing.

I have often argued against the possibility of propulsion in near-zero gravity and near-absolute vacuum, but in reality the entire discussion is based on a false assumption: the existence of "space" as an infinite-while-relative three-dimensional nothingness in which bodies are "suspended" and move, whether it be planets or protons. Due to the appearance of separation between objects in our daily, microcosmic existence, we are predisposed to accept this model, though it cannot correspond to actual reality.

( I did mention this in an earlier post: cluesforum.info/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1424&start=150#p2380347 )

Space and matter are coextensive. Space does not "contain matter". The "inseparableness" of space and matter, however, does not imply rockets could work under conditions other than those of the atmosphere.

The notion of an infinite and empty manifested nothingness ("space") is an attempt to absolutize the relative, with all its spiritual implications. Something and nothingness do not pertain to the same level of manifestation.

dblitz wrote:I don't like the name of this thread, it's a dogmatic statement about a reality with which we have no experience, and I don't think it's worthy of clues forum.


On a forum committed to the study of media fakery, you have to take the media´s stories and claims as a point of departure.
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Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby simonshack on Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:42 pm

CitronBleu wrote:Yes, if the speed of the spring releasing it's energy is the same as the exhaust velocity of Ariane's fuel, 2,400 m/s, the medicine ball will begin to move up, (...)

The key words here are exhaust velocity.

Dear Citronbleu,

I agree that "exhaust velocity" are the key words here and in fact, in a previous post, you asked this key question:

"Now is the fuel exhaust velocity of the Ariane 5 correct?"

To be sure, we have no means of verifying if ESA's exhaust velocity data is correct / truthful. Yet, we may ask ourselves a few legitimate questions - on the basis of what we should expect of such tremendous velocities in the physical world, in terms of acoustics and ballistics.

So let's see: 2400m/s is about 7 times (yes, seven times) the speed of sound. So:

Question 1: Should we not expect some massive sonic boom / shockwave - as the ARIANE 5 rockets get ignited (and any similar, large ESA / NASA rocket, for that matter)?

Image
Oh well - maybe she wears earplugs! <_<

Secondly, I have looked up for comparison (so as to get a sense / perspective of what that 2,400m/s figure entails) the most modern type of armour-piercing projectile, the "APFSDS" (aka "KE penetrator") . These devastating "state-of-the-art" military projectiles (infamously known for containing depleted uranium) do not carry explosives - they only use their kinetic energy to penetrate their (armoured) targets. Here's how fast they can go:

"Typical velocities of APFSDS rounds vary between manufacturers and muzzle length/types. As a typical example, the American General Dynamics KEW-A1 has a muzzle velocity of 1,740 m/s".


Now, this 1,740m/s figure relates to the very top / max velocity of the "KE" armour-piercing projectile as it gets ejected. Once it reaches its target, its speed will be reduced by aerodynamic drag - but it still pierces heavy armour very nicely, it seems. To be sure, intense military research has gone into making these kinetic armour-piercing bullets travel as fast as possible. Yet, the destructive kinetic speed of a "KE penetrator" is - roughly speaking - about 25% slower than the alleged exhaust velocity of the ARIANE 5 rockets.

Question 2: Why can't the military produce projectiles with speeds similar / or higher than ARIANE's claimed "2,400m/s" exhaust velocity?

Question 3: What material are ESA / NASA launch pads made of? Unobtainium, perhaps? ^_^
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Re: Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby CitronBleu on Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:14 pm

Hello simonshack,

We all know on the forum the value of these purported launches. Nevertheless their authenticity form a different problem to the question of whether the physics upon which they are based are correct, which is the issue we were discussing in the previous posts.
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Re: Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby simonshack on Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:42 pm

CitronBleu wrote:Hello simonshack,

We all know on the forum the value of these purported launches. Nevertheless their authenticity form a different problem to the question of whether the physics upon which they are based are correct, which is the issue we were discussing in the previous posts.


Interestingly, some physics questions raised on this thread are being discussed at this Physics Forum:

"Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics."

Biruman wrote: We know, the rockets in space use Newton's 3rd law to increase their velocity and hence move. What I don't understand is how it is possible in space aka vacuum-state without air? From what I know, Joule's "Free Expansion of Gas" says that free-expansion compresses the gas and is therefore "affected" by vacuum so it can't make the rocket move as the gas will have zero press/force. Could someone please explain me how rockets do really work and the above-mentioned statement?

Actually, please have a look at this site: http://cluesforum.info/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1632

Not: The site appears to include some conspiracy theory thingummies, but made me wonder anyway.

http://physics.stackexchange.com/questi ... ion-of-gas
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Re: Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby dblitz on Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:21 am

Rockets work in a vacuum because rocketry does not operate by pushing against air, or anything else for that matter. A rocket rides the blast wave of an energetic event initiated by the explosive force of the heat generated by the engine. People don't get blown to bits by the air being pushed out of a bomb, they are caught in a wave of space that cannot co-exist with things. Space is not a thing, it's a place. When it's randomized, or heated (same thing, as heat is a measurement of random motion) that which is ordered gets out of the way, or the thing heated is expelled from that locality.

Same as a flame can't coexist with your flesh, a rocket cannot co-exist with the energy expelled from its exhaust, so it escapes as fast as it can. A machine that creates a succession of such waves is called an engine.

Rockets do not push against air, they ride the blast wave of their own energetic event point, limited in scope to determine direction.

They tried to get rid of the aether, but that did away with the very logic of their own physical principles, leading to confusion among researchers.

Edit: punctuation and a bit of grammar.
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Re: Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby simonshack on Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:58 pm

dblitz wrote:Rockets work in a vacuum because rocketry does not operate by pushing against air, or anything else for that matter.


"ROCKETS DO NOT PUSH AGAINST AIR (2)"
NASA keeps denying the existence of air & aerodynamics


Here we go again. It seems that NASA's wackiest claim just won't go away: "rockets do not push against air, whatsoever." :rolleyes:

Here's a real, amateur rocket taking off. According to NASA, it does not push against air - at all (???) :
"it is (exclusively) propelled by the recoil effect caused by its fuel being ejected out of its tank":
Image
"Steve Eves and his Saturn5-model amateur rocket launch": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxgMhHOaUSY

Come, come, let's get real - and stop kidding ourselves.

Before we proceed, dear reader, let me ask you to open these two earlier posts of mine in separate windows - for reference:
"The Power of Air" viewtopic.php?p=2385809#p2385809
"40 MILLION HP - The Wondrous Power of Air" viewtopic.php?p=2385835#p2385835

Here's a brief summary of the main points illustrated / expounded in those two earlier posts :

A- Air drag increases exponentially with speed. Overcoming air drag is the main opposing force encountered by an accelerating vehicle.
B- To propel a Porsche at 200km/h, its engine will need to use 4X as much horsepower as it needs to travel at 100km/h.
C- To travel at a hypothetical 16.000km/h (max exhaust velocity of the Space Shuttle engines), a Porsche would need 40 million hp.
D- Hence, if we can imagine a rocket's exhaust plume (roughly the same size/ frontal area / Cx of a Porsche) as a steady flow of Porsches pushing against the air below the rocket, it should be perfectly evident that this massive, 40 million hp air-displacing vortex IS THE MAIN FORCE WHICH PROPELS THE ROCKET THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE :

Image

HOW DO SPACE-GOING ROCKETS REACH "ESCAPE VELOCITY"?
NASA tells us that the maximum exhaust velocity attainable with chemical propellants is 4,4km/s (or 16.000km/h). We are told that the far higher speed of 27.000km/h (the required, so-called "escape velocity") is easily reached because their rockets keep accelerating as they meet ever thinner air resistance (at 100km, air is 2,2 million times thinner than at sea level). Very well, so "less air-drag = faster rocket". But wait: wouldn't also the rocket's thrust force (as illustrated above), in all logic, decrease accordingly?

WHAT ABOUT GRAVITY? DOES IT CEASE TO EXIST AT 100km altitude (aka "the Kàrmàn Line") ?
No - apparently not. A rocket weighing, say, 100.000kg at sea-level - will still weigh 97.000kg at 100km altitude.
MISCONCEPTIONS
"Zero gravity" or even nearly zero gravity is a misnomer, and does not really exist anywhere in the universe. (...) For example, the force of gravity at 100 km altitude in Earth's orbit is actually 97 percent of what it is for people standing on the ground.

http://www.ehow.com/about_4798210_zero- ... facts.html

In spite of this - and amazingly enough - NASA claims that, once their spaceships (Space Shuttle and all) reach "escape velocity" (at around 100km of altitude), they can just switch off their engines - and thereafter keep orbiting indefinitely around Earth "for free", with no more fuel needed ! It is said that, once they exit the atmosphere (above 100km or so) at sufficient speed, they will start 'free-falling' around our planet (at a brisk 27.000km/h). Moreover, once inserted in the vacuum of space, their wondrous spaceships can nimbly maneuver / climb / descend / accelerate / & slow down at will - with utmost precision (for instance, when catching up & docking with the ISS, or when shooting the LEM back up from the moon surface to rejoin the Apollo Command Module, or when deciding to re-enter the atmosphere and return back to Mother Earth...).

I submit that all of these NASA claims are nothing but sheer science-fiction fantasy - and that rockets / spaceships (while working perfectly well within our atmosphere) may not be physically able to surpass the 100km altitude mark - let alone keep orbiting (with engines off) at hypersonic speeds - or much less propel themselves and maneuver in the vacuum of space. In doing so, (please note that I am respectfully observing our ol' friend Isaac's laws) :

Image


I should probably also re-post here this old diagram of mine (based on NASA's own graphics) :
Image
Source of graphics used for above diagram:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_engine



**************
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: :)
What would ultimately happen to this guy if the fabric of his trampoline became gradually thinner, and thinner, and thinner ?

Image
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Re: Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby CitronBleu on Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:04 pm

simonshack wrote:I submit that all of these NASA claims are nothing but sheer science-fiction fantasy - and that rockets / spaceships may not even be physically able to reach / surpass the 100km altitude mark

Not even with a Moog valve?
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Re: Does Rocketry Work in the Vacuum?

Unread postby RaoulMarz on Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:32 am

I have just lost a post that I spend more than an hour one. I guess that is not the first time that this have happened ever.

This will be a more summarised version of my understanding about rocketry in a vacuum, and I will also try to explain a theory on how rockets possibly could work in a vacuum. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in Physics is Newton's laws of motion and in my mind particularly the third law. When googling "Newton's third law incomplete".

http://central.collegeboard.com/apc/mem ... 40921.html I came across a page that states that many students state the third law as "Every action causes an equal and opposite reaction" and because of this then don't apply this law to forces correctly. The author then gives a more comprehensive statement of the third law "If object A exerts a force on object B, then object B exerts a force on object A that has the same magnitude as the first force, but whose direction vector is rotated 180°. These two forces are called an action-reaction pair and are never applied on the same object." To me with this definition we get closer to understanding this law. But I am still not satisfied as what precisely so we consider an object, and also I can envisage more than two objects interacting simultaneously. The reason why I am repeating this, is because the third law is stated by NASA and many science professionals as the reason why a rocket works. Here is the NASA education link confirming this belief. http://exploration.grc.nasa.gov/educati ... ton3r.html. On this page they use Newton's second law to explain how the thrust - a force - is produced and show the well known equation F = m * a. Because of this force we go in reverse using the third law, that infers because object A (hot exhaust gas) exerts a force on object B, then object B exerts a force with same magnitude. Can we really assume the hot exhaust gas is one singular object and can we also assume the interaction is always with the rocket?

Also another term often appearing in rocketry is "thrust". And NASA education once again gives a nice example. http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/thrust1.html Within the first paragraph the educators at NASA already confirm that thrust is used to overcome drag or the weight of a rocket. "Thrust is the force which moves an aircraft through the air. Thrust is used to overcome the drag of an airplane, and to overcome the weight of a rocket. Thrust is generated by the engines of the aircraft through some kind of propulsion system." Now a very simple question is that if thrust was impossible to generate, what force would then be needed to overcome the weight of rocket? So it is a matter of the atmosphere is really a hindrance, but yet nice to have because it allows the rocket to create thrust, that allows the rocket to overcome gravity. Okay I know what comes next. Of course what I am saying is correct in layman's terms, but a rocket would still have an easier time in a vacuum, because there would be no drag i.e aerodynamic drag. I would agree, if I can be convinced that object A (the hot exhaust gas collective) interacts completely with object B - the rocket. Or that a fractional part of hot exhaust gas collective interacts with object B - the rocket. But I don't believe this is the case, I can use principle of free expansion why it can't be, but others have already done so in a comprehensive fashion. I don't claim Newton's third law does not apply, I actually insists that it does. My contention is of course that the objects in question are not object A interacting with object B - the rocket. The 2 objects in question really are one gas molecule interacting with another gas molecule. To avoid an attack from some smarmy scientist I will that these separate molecules can no longer be considered a gas. So I will simplify it even to infinitesimal matter instead of gas molecule. So a vast proportion of the "infinitesimal matter" previously knowns as exhaust gas interact with each other on a one to one basis, trying to stick to the expanded statement of Newton's third law as given at the start.

I also have a very much speculative theory on how a rocket could be modified to work in a vacuum. Given my explanation before, I believe a rocket does function in a "fluid-like" medium like the atmosphere. So one needs to carry an "atmosphere" with the rocket. One could entertain the notion that if the exhaust gas no longer "disappears" in the vacuum but is contained somehow, then the rocket would be able to function pretty much the same way as in Earth's atmosphere. I speculate this containment can be through a field, like a gravity field. This exhaust gas, if contained, would be able to form the medium of interaction, or put differently become object B (earth-like atmosphere with different chemical compositon). What is object A then? Object A is the exhaust gas. Crazy!! Yes of course object A (exhaust gas) is not the same as object B (exhaust gas). Object A is pretty much the exhaust gas being accelerated in the vicinity of the rocket nozzle. Object B is the prior exhaust gas released at N instants before, lets guesstimate this as 20 - 50 microseconds before the current moment. Of course if all the exhaust gas is contained then this globular gas medium would just become more dense and heavier. So the containment must be such that the gas molecules must be able to leave the containment field. This would be possible to do by regulating the strength of the field. Coming back to the rocket - the propulsion is due to the pressure differential in this glob in which the rocket resides. So that it implies the high density gas would be in the area surrounding the rocket nozzle, and the lower density gas more or less above rocket nozzle in the direction of the nose cone.

Thanks for bearing with me, I hope my explanations are not too convoluted. I am starting to realise how difficult it is to explain ideas and thoughts, and well done to many of the posters that makes it seem so effortless!
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Unread postby hoi.polloi on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:50 pm

No offense to your efforts, but please familiarize yourself with the topic and the posts; this point has already been raised and contended in the thread.
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