Sutton, George P. Consulting Engineer, Danville, California.
- Stage separation
- Additional Readings
The use of successive rocket vehicle sections, each having its own propulsion system, such as one or more engines. One way to minimize the mass of large missiles, or space vehicles, is to use multiple stages. The first or initial stage is usually the heaviest and biggest and is often called the booster. It requires the highest thrust and largest rocket propulsion system. The next few stages are successively smaller, have much lower thrusts, and are generally called sustainers. Each stage is a complete vehicle in itself and carries its own propellant (either solid or liquid; both fuel and oxidizer) and its own propulsion system, and has its own tankage and control system.
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