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The programme examines the criteria which influence the choice of fuel and oxidiser for a rocket engine.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S101, Science: a foundation course
Item code: S101; 15
First transmission date: 12-06-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: David Jackson
Contributors: David Johnson; Norman Logan; Kiki Warr
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Apollo spacecraft; Messerschmitt 163; Polaris missile
Subject terms: Rocket engines; Force and energy; Liquid propellants; Propellants; Rockets (Aeronautics)--Fuel
Footage description: Norman Logan reacts N2O4 with aniline in the laboratory. A vigorous rocket like reaction results. Film shots of an Apollo command module in lunar orbit. Logan goes on to react hydrazine with N2O4 in a studio model of an Apollo spacecraft. Kiki Warr, with the aid of several molecular models, explains what makes a reaction exothermic. Inserts of a Polaris missile launch and a hydrogen-fluorine reaction in the laboratory, both examples of exothermic reactions. Also several still captions help to illustrate her points. Kiki Warr explains how a rocket engine works. She examines a model of a rocket engine as she talks. She goes on to list two other criteria of a good rocket propellant; that the reaction must be fast and that exhaust velocity must be high. An animated diagram of a simple rocket motor and some gas filled balloons help to illustrate points made. David Johnson, at the Imperial War Museum, sits inside the cockpit of a Messerschmidt 163 WWII rocket powered fighter aircraft. Excerpts from captured German film show the effect of hydrogen peroxide, the rocket fuel, on sack cloth. The cloth bursts into flame. Another excerpt shows laboratory reaction of hydrogen peroxide with an oxidiser. Using graphics which caption the equation for rocket reaction, Johnson examines the reaction of hydrazine with hydrogen peroxide (the fuel and oxidant used in the Messerschmidt 163) to see if it meets the criteria for an efficient rocket propellant. German film showing the Messerschmidt 163 being made ready for flight, of its engine (the Walter 509) on a testbed, of the aircraft taking off and of the aircraft during combat. Commentary by Johnson gives details of the engine and also of the general characteristics and performance of the aircraft.
Master spool number: 6HT/72956
Production number: FOUS015L
Videofinder number: 1190
Available to public: no