How do conventional rockets work?

How are rockets designed?

Rocket designers want the rocket to do the best job possible for its mission. The performance of rocket engines can be measured in several ways, and the designer must decide which kinds of performance he or she would like the rocket to emphasize.

Some important questions for rocket engine designers are below:

No rocket design or kind of propellant will give the best answer to all of these questions. There are always tradeoffs; depending on what the satellite needs different kinds of rockets are chosen. The designer must choose which qualities are most important to his or her design and this changes depending on the rocket's intended purpose. Sometimes a single mission will have more than one propulsion system for different kinds of propulsion.

What is a propellant?
How does DS1's engine work?
Why does DS1 have two kinds of propulsion?
How does propulsion work?
What is an orbit?
What is gravity?
How do we put a spacecraft into orbit?

What are the types of rocket propulsion?
Why is mass important?
What is thrust?
What is mass?

How is rocket propulsion different from jet propulsion?
How do you calculate rocket engine performance?