ESA Euronews: It’s rocket science!


Years in the building, seconds in the launching; rocket engines are truly awesome in their sheer power, but are also amazing feats of engineering and design.

The scientific principle remains quite simple: accelerated gas creating thrust through a nozzle. However, extrapolating that concept to the point where the rocket has sufficient power to lift people and satellites beyond Earth’s gravity and into orbit is far more complex. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, the manufacturing and testing process IS rocket science.

In Europe one of the key centres of work on rocket engines is done at the Snecma factory complex in a remote location in forests near the town of Vernon in Normandy. Many of the components are built elsewhere in Europe, but the assembly and testing are carried at the site in northern France.

The pieces are carefully milled from titanium or lightweight alloys over a period of weeks. When construction is finally completed then comes the critical test phase, where the rockets are fired into life inside a vast tower.

Space reporter Jeremy Wilks visited the Snecma site to find out more about this unique and constantly evolving industrial sector.

This video is also available in the following languages:
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  1. Great video. Someone from ESA or Airbus Safran Launchers should really consider producing a documentary about how currently Vega and Ariane 5 are build. It'd be a great thing to see, and knowing that A5 is about to be retired while Vega will undergo significant changes to increase commonality with Ariane 6 – next few years might be the last chance to make such a documentary

  2. Oh common, rocket science is rocket science, but is that old, old principle of reaction used to hurl in the space loads/humans.
     The Americans and other countries use antigravity or warp type drives on deep space craft to go to their colonies on Mars and to the asteroid belt, to the Earth 's Moon and other moons close to the gaseous planets like Jupiter and Saturn and other points in the Solar system . The Solar Warden and some other programs defend the Solar system from intruders  use the new advanced technology on their spacecraft.
    Why the French use the old, the old and very dangerous technologies  to  do these jobs? I know it gives food on the table to many people around Europe but why not use advanced technologies that are more reliable, more efficient, and  the parameters achieved are net superiors to rocket technology?

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