Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How Kassam rockets work

By Marshall Brain

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) If you've been watching the news, you know that Israel is under attack once again. This time, the weapon of choice comes from the skies. It is called the Kassam (or Qassam) rocket, and dozens of them have been landing in Israel.


In America we have a certain mental image that appears whenever we hear the word "rocket." We tend to think of something big, complex and expensive. We get that impression because we are used to seeing huge moon rockets or billion-dollar space shuttles flying precisely into orbit under the control of thousands of technicians.


The Palestinian Kassam rocket is just the opposite. It is small, simple and cheap. The idea is to create an easily manufactured, inexpensive terror weapon that one or two people can launch from almost anywhere.


How can Palestinians manufacture rockets in their basements? The key is to think small and to use everyday items wherever possible. Therefore, a Kassam rocket starts with a simple iron tube. In other words, you start with a piece of pipe. In a Kassam rocket, the pipe is usually about 6 feet long and 6 or 7 inches in diameter. At one end of the piece of pipe you weld on four simple fins made of sheet metal. The sheet metal can come from anywhere - an old car fender will do.

A Kassam rocket lands in a Sderot, Israel synagogue

Since this is a rocket, it needs some kind of rocket fuel inside the pipe. Palestinians use the simplest fuel possible. It is made of sugar and potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter. The obvious question most people have is, "Sugar?" It turns out that sugar contains quite a lot of energy. You can see that energy when you are roasting marshmallows and one of them catches on fire. The problem is that sugar does not burn fast enough to use it as a rocket fuel. The potassium nitrate solves that problem by providing an oxidizer that accelerates the reaction. In the United States, there is a whole category of model rocketry called "Candy Rockets." American hobbyists hold competitions to see who can create the highest-flying sugar-powered rockets. The Palestinians have simply taken the hobby to an extreme.


Once you have filled your pipe with its sugar fuel, you need a nozzle for your rocket engine. In a Kassam rocket the designers use a round metal plate with seven holes drilled in it. Each hole is about an inch in diameter, because that is about as big as a standard drill bit can get. This round plate then screws onto the bottom of the rocket.


At the other end of the rocket is a small bomb. A Kassam rocket has a payload of 10 to 20 pounds and the bomb is very simple. It is made of a metal casing filled with an explosive like TNT. The TNT is probably the hardest material for the Palestinians to obtain, so they smuggle it in or harvest it from old military hardware. The shell of a rifle bullet acts as a blasting cap to initiate the TNT explosion.


When you put this all together, what you have is a rocket that can lob a 10 to 20 pound bomb through the air for a distance of five or six miles. It is very much like an artillery shell, with the advantage that you do not need a massive artillery piece to launch it. Instead, you need a couple of simple guide rails to act as a launch pad. You set up the rails, lean the rocket against them, light the fuse and stand back. 30 seconds later a 20-pound bomb explodes five miles away. By the time Israelis can react, the people who ignited the rocket can be long gone from the launch site.


Because they have no guidance system of any kind, Kassam rockets do have their limits. There is no way to know precisely where the rocket will land. However, as a tool of terror, that randomness can make the rocket very effective. The Germans employed the same tactic with the V-1 and V-2 rockets that they sent toward London during World War II.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.



Previously:


How the North American Eagle works
Why aren't we flying to work?
How tofu and soy milk work
How Colony Collapse Disorder works
How airbags work
How the U.S. income tax works
How gum works
How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles