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What’s the difference between liquid and solid-fuel rockets?


There are two main types of rockets: liquid-fuel and solid-fuel. Liquid-fuel rockets consist of a fuel and oxygen (or other oxidizer) in liquid state. They are combined in a combustion chamber and ignited. The fuel flow to the engine can be controlled, the amount of thrust produced can be regulated and the engine can be turned off or on as needed. Solid-fuel rockets consist of a fuel and oxidizer that are pre-mixed in a solid form. Once the solid fuel is ignited, the resulting thrust cannot be regulated or turned off. This fuel system is simpler, safer, and cheaper—but less efficient—than that of a liquid-fuel rocket.

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