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Jet Reaction, Part 1

Jet Reaction, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   11.08

     challenging words:    aeolipile, airstream, fuel-air, full-sized, long-range, physicist, propeller-driven, rotary, Secundo, short-range, turboprop, efficiency, propulsion, experimental, high-speed, burning
     content words:    Sir Isaac Newton, Third Law, Ancient Greece, Robert H., René Lorin, Frank Whittle, Secundo Campini, In Jet Reaction

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Jet Reaction, Part 1
By Trista L. Pollard

1     Sir Isaac Newton, a seventeenth century English mathematician and physicist, developed one of the most important laws of motion: for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newton's Third Law of Motion is the basis for reaction engines. Reaction engines are engines that produce power as a reaction to the momentum from the gases that are ejected from them. The birth of the reaction engine is the reason we are able to send airplanes worldwide and rockets into space.
2     The aeolipile, the first known reaction engine, was built by mathematician and inventor Heron of Alexandria in Ancient Greece. This engine was shaped like a ball and rotated as a reaction to escaping steam. As the centuries rolled along, two other types of reaction engines called the true rocket engine and the airstream engine were invented. Rocket engines are able to burn fuel by using chemicals instead of drawing in air from the outside. This important feature of rocket engines allows the rocket to operate in outer space where there is no atmosphere. In 1939, German automobile manufacturer Fritz von Opel made the first flight using only rocket power. However, the pioneer of rocket engines was American physicist Robert H. Goddard. Goddard was one of the few scientists to design and construct high altitude rockets. In 1926 he successfully built and fired the world's first liquid fuel rocket. Goddard also developed the first smokeless powder rocket, the first practical automatic steering device for rockets, and many other rocket devices. One of the most important contributions made by Goddard was his development of the general theory of rocket action and his experimental proof of the efficiency of rocket propulsion in a vacuum. Robert Goddard's scientific work helped to pave the way for modern space exploration.
3     The second type of reaction engine is the airstream or jet engine. Jet engines were born from the development of the 18th century gas turbine engine. Gas produced from burning fuel would be directed against the blades of a turbine wheel. Turbines are rotary engines that use a continuous stream of fluid (gas or liquid) to turn a shaft that drives machinery. Scientists in 1908 started to suggest that aircraft could be equipped to fly with engines that worked through jet propulsion. Jet propulsion is the pushing forward of a body by the force developed from the reaction to the ejection of high-speed jets of gas. In other words, gas comes out one way, the body moves in the opposite direction at the same speed.

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