Have you ever wondered how big and powerful a rocket could be? What is the rocket’s size?? Everyone knows that they are in principle, huge devices. But what about their details? I decided to compare a few of them and it turned out to be pretty interesting. So get ready for the countdown. Today, a series of rocket launches is expected here.
It’s worth saying that many rockets are different. Among them are disposable and reusable, launch vehicles, guided and unmanned. The history of modern rocket science began back in the 1920s, and prototypes of such devices were described by the ancient Greeks. Of course, we’re talking about primitive constructions. Back then, people didn’t even dream about the technologies that are available to us today. However, I suggest you see for yourself what our ancestors would be so surprised at.
So I’ll start with Black Arrow being the first. Being the only British three-stage launch vehicle it had a link of only 13 meters or 42.6 feet, and a launch mass of about 18 tons. Black Arrow was created to deliver a payload weighing up to 100 kilograms or 220 pounds into low earth orbit. It’s hard to imagine that such a crumb could even lift anything at all. The length of this rocket can be compared to the height of a four to a five-story building. Nonetheless, it’s still managed to do something useful. In 1971, the rocket delivered the Prospero’s satellite into space.
Next, I’ll talk about something more famous.
The Falcon 1
The Falcon 1 is the first private, liquid propelled carrier rocket ever to deliver cargo to low earth orbit, measuring 21 meters or sixty nine feet in length and one point seven meters or five and a half feet in diameter. It could lift 180 kilograms or three hundred ninety seven pounds of payload. Despite these rather serious parameters, its length still doesn’t even compare to the height of an ordinary coconut tree.
But the further the taller. Sputnik is the first rocket in history to reach the first space velocity 7.91 kilometers or 439 miles per second. Having launched artificial Earth satellites into orbit, it became the basis for a whole family of launch vehicles. With a length of 30 meters or ninety eight point four feet, it could be compared to the height of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro without the pedestal. But today, Sputnik is no longer in use. So just imagine these two objects side by side.
The next launch vehicle called Vostok is not just another launch vehicle. On April 12th, 1961, it lifted the first Vostok 1 manned spacecraft into Earth orbit and with it, Yuri Gagarin, the first person in the world who managed to visit space. But what about the size of this rocket? A length of thirty eight point two meters or one hundred twenty five feet may already seem rather long, but it depends on what you compare it to.
For example, the suspension towers of the Brooklyn Bridge are eighty five meters or 278 feet tall. Even if you took two Vostok rockets and put them on top of each other, they still wouldn’t reach the top of the structure.
But two Indian PSLV launch vehicles with a length of 44 meters or one hundred and forty four feet each certainly would. This unit is unique in its own way because it’s a four stage rocket. It has launched 50 times.
47 of them were successful and in only three cases were their problems. Pretty nice work for this device, which has been in operation since 1993 and is still in use. But what has the PSLV been delivering to space all this time? Mostly various satellites.
Adding 12 meters or 40 feet to the length of the PSLV, we get the space shuttle at 56 meters or 184 feet. This is almost four times the size of the Black Arrow, which I spoke about at the very beginning.
However, this device isn’t a typical rocket. I’m talking about a reusable spacecraft, which during its work managed to make 133 successful launches. This space shuttle is a real heavyweight. It’s starting mass is two thousand and thirty tons. Onboard, it can carry up to twenty seven point five tons of payload. It’s difficult to imagine how much it was able to deliver into orbit over 30 years of work.
The Atlas V (Five) rockets are a little longer, 58.3 meters or one hundred 91 feet. This one time to stage launch vehicle is manufactured in the United States and may have several different configs. Orations, depending on the version, the launch costs can also be determined from between 110 to 235 million dollars. To make it clear how much this is, here is a comparison. It’s even more expensive than launching the Falcon heavy from Space X. But surely Atlas five can bring us many benefits. In a low Earth orbit, it can lift up to eighteen points eight tons of cargo.
I think it’s time to move on to something more serious, to something taller, more powerful and heavier. Despite the fact that the Energia rocket had a length of only 58.7 meters or one hundred and ninety-two point six feet, scientists had high hopes for it. This Soviet super-heavy class carrier rocket was created to send up to two hundred tons of cargo into the Earth’s orbit. The plans for it also included sending cargo to the moon and even to the planets of the solar system.
And if the Megalodon was still in existence, this rocket would have been capable of delivering six medium sized specimens, weighing 33 tons each into space. However, dreams rarely come true. Energia was launched only two times, after which the program was closed.
Now it’s time to talk about the Falcon heavy, which is significantly different in size from the other rockets from today’s article. With a length of 70 meters or 230 feet, this heavy launch vehicle can lift 63.8 tons of payloads onboard. But this is only within Earth’s orbit.
There’s a chance that the Falcon Heavy will travel to Mars in a couple of years. On this journey, it’ll be able to carry 16.8 tons of cargo. But that’s not all, according to some reports. This rocket could even go to Pluto. But for this trip, there aren’t any specifics except for the calculated payload. It’ll be three and a half tons.
Delta 4 Heavy
The Delta four heavy is slightly inferior in performance to the Falcon heavy, but it beats it in length, which is 72 meters or 236 feet. It can be compared to one of the highest Buddha statues in the world, which is located in China. In 2004, the Delta four heavy was first launched into space and is still operational today. The cost of one launch is estimated at an incredible 350 million dollars. But if you look at it from the other side, it’s all quite logical. It makes sense for such a big rocket to cost a lot of money.
And the Soviet rocket, N1 could compete with it. At a height of 105.3 meters or 345 feet, it could lift 95 tons of payload into Earth’s orbit. But all four launches didn’t go according to plan. There were problems during the first stage of operation. The program for creating and launching rockets was strictly classified. And only in 1989, were we able to learn anything about it? So since I can’t evaluate this rocket in action, I’ll compare it with a couple of objects here on Earth. So 3 N1’S stacked on top of each other would be a little shorter than the Eiffel Tower. But one such rocket is a little taller than Big Ben, which stands at 96 meters or 315 feet. And one had every chance of becoming the longest rocket ever created. But neither it nor any other rocket can compare with the Saturn V.
First of all, it was this super-heavy launch vehicle that was used to make the moon landing a reality. To date, the Saturn five is the most powerful, most lifting and largest rocket of all created by mankind. With a length of 110.6 meters or 363 feet and a diameter of about 10 meters or 33 feet, it was able to lift 141 tons of cargo on board. What could possibly weigh so much?
For example, the Apollo spacecraft and the third stage of the carrier with its remaining fuel, it was these devices that in 1969 were sent to the moon for a successful landing. But this isn’t the only achievement of the Saturn V. In 1973, this rocket launched the Skylab station, the first and only U.S. orbital research station into orbit. See how cool this rocket is?
It’s hard to imagine that we could create something like this. And I still don’t believe this is all we’ll see. Technology continues developing as mankind develops and perhaps in five or 10 years will again be surprised at what we are capable of.