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Soviet R-7 Rocket, the first rocket to put an object into orbit

A rocket is a device that generates thrust by burning a chemical fuel and directing the exhaust in a particular direction. Conservation of momentum requires that the momentum of the exhaust be balanced by the momentum of the rocket itself, accelerating the rocket via reaction force.

Rockets have existed since the 13th century in China, with simple black powder rockets used as flares, weapons, and fireworks. Modern rocketry, however, began in the early 20th century, spearheaded by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert H. Goddard, Wernher von Braun, and Sergei Korolev. Early rockets used solid masses of gunpowder as propellent, with modern rockets being divided into several catagories, often using pure oxygen as a catalyst for ignition to get the most energy possible out of the engine. Many modern rockets use a self-oxygenating fuel mixture or carry both oxygen and fuel with them, allowing them to operate in a vacuum. Rockets are currently the only practical technology for accelerating an object in open space.

Today rockets are used primarily as space-launch devices and weapon delivery systems, although some civilian enthusiasts make rockets for recreational purposes, and they are occasionally used as signal flares.

Real Life Rockets

See also