Introduction: Rise of the Rockets (03:36)
The United States ceases flying astronauts into space in 2011, opting to pay the Russians to carry them to the International Space Station. The Launch Complex is again operable, with intentions of launching manned flights on rockets owned by NASA and private companies.
Striving for Accessibility (07:16)
NASA opts to commercialize flying cargo and crew to the International Space Station in 2005, enabling focus on rocket development for deep space exploration. The Space Launch System vehicle is propelled by liquid hydrogen fuel and is planned for debut in the 2020's.
Physics and Energy (08:01)
Rocket science is based on propulsion and Newton's Third Law of Motion; Andrea Sella demonstrates a water pressure propelled device. Robert Goddard builds the first liquid fuel rocket in 1926 based on Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's 1903 publication of propellant experiments.
Fueling Necessary Thrust (08:28)
Tsiolkovsky proposes hydrogen as the lightest, most energetic rocket fuel; Sella demonstrates its efficiency with a potato gun. The RS 25 powers the Space Launch System. Aerojet Rocketdyne tests the engine.
Multiple Use Design (04:49)
Landing processes complicate the reuse of rockets; space shuttles were intended to travel multiple times per year, but require heavy maintenance after reentry. John Garvey helps develop Delta Clipper Experimental; NASA cancels the program after test failure.
Private Interests (07:51)
Elon Musk founds SpaceX in 2002, hoping to send people to Mars and make space tourism safe and affordable. Jeff Bezos establishes Blue Origins with similar intentions. Both companies develop reusable rockets—Falcon IX and New Shepard.
Miniaturized Cargo (03:24)
CubeSats are small satellites performing at standard sized levels; their manufacture triggers emergence of new private rocket companies. RocketLab creates carbon composite launch vehicles that reduce weight and costs of delivering such payloads to orbit.
Price Reduction (04:44)
Vector experiments with smaller rockets that use cheaper fuel. John Garvey continues development of reusable, vertical takeoff and land designs. Virgin Orbit proposes using a jumbo jet to carry spacecraft and rockets closer to space for air launch.
Near Future Realizations (02:30)
Rocket technology leaders are designing crafts to take large human payloads into space. SpaceX is building Giant Starship prototypes, intending to transport hundreds to Mars. Musk, Bezos, and Chris Ferguson discuss solar system colonization and tourism.
Credits: Rise of the Rockets (00:50)
Credits: Rise of the Rockets
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