thanks. I'm curious from a chemistry perspective.
Dude... why are you asking a Canadian?
Hell will freeze over before Canada understand even the basics about missiles. LOL
anything from China or Russia is better than anything America
America has to ask Russia to take it to space these days. LOL
So yes, I'm afraid, the USA has trashed itself. Elon Musk is our best hope right now.
Different nations use different fuels and different engines. But generally, solid fuel is smoky and great for missiles that are used as weapons. It is simple and reliable and starts up instantly.
However for space rockets, liquid fuels are better, safer and give higher thrust. They also pollute less.
As REDIAL said that Pakistan is the best, I am only doing this for him....
Pakistan solid fuel missile:
Pakistan liquid fuel missile:
You can clearly see which one produces all that smoke and which one is... relatively... clean.