One of the most spectacular sights is the launching of a rocket. The roar, the vibration, flames and fumes all add to the sight and sound of the spectacle. Then as the rocket reaches a certain height, it drops its empty fuel tanks.
Here is a virtual video animation showing different rockets (Saturn V, Space Shuttle, Falcon Heavy and the Space Launch System (SLS) rockets) with transparent fuel tanks. As the rockets climb, we see the fuel burn in real-time and the tanks emptying. As a tank is emptied completely, it drops.
There are three types of fuel used:
– Red = Kerosene RP-1
– Orange = Liquid Hydrogen LH2
– Blue = Liquid Oxygen LOX
View the original video at: Hazegrayart
The video lasts 9:12, and here is when the action takes place:
2:14 – The Space Shuttle and the SLS drop their solid rocket boosters.
2:40 – The Saturn V drops its First Stage engine and tank.
2:41 – The SpaceX Falcon Heavy drops its solid rocket boosters (they will attempt to land).
3:09 – The Saturn V loses its Aft Skirt.
3:14 – The SpaceX Falcon Heavy drops its Atlas Booster (it will attempt to land).
3:15 – The Saturn V Apollo Command Module separates.
3:57 – The SpaceX Falcon Heavy Payload Fairing opens.
5:55 – Looks like the SpaceX Heavy Falcon cuts off its engine.
7:49 – The Space Shuttle and the SLS cut off their main engine.
8:01 – The Space Shuttle drops its external tank.
8:07 – The SLS drops its external tank.
8:13 – The SLS Orion Spacecraft separates.
8:45 – The Saturn V engine shuts off.
8:48 – The Saturn V second stage falls off.
My explanations above are probably not totally correct, but I was so fascinated with the video that I had to do a quick research on what was happening to the rockets at the different stages.