Learn about the four forces of flight: lift, thrust, drag, and gravity. Discover how a rocket is launched and how its engines work. Understand the history of rocketry and its importance in exploration.
Rockets: Exploring the Science of Flight
Rocket: A rocket is a vehicle, missile, or aircraft that obtains thrust from a rocket engine. Rockets are used for propulsion of spacecraft, weapons, and fireworks. Thrust: Thrust is the force which moves an object forward through space. It is generated by the rocket engine and pushes the rocket in the opposite direction. Gravity: Gravity is the force that pulls objects toward each other. It is what keeps the rocket in its trajectory and keeps it from flying off into space.
The first liquid-fueled rocket was invented by Robert H. Goddard in 1926. The Russian Soyuz rocket is the oldest and most used rocket in the world. The Saturn V rocket used to launch the Apollo 11 mission was the largest rocket ever built, standing 363 feet tall and weighing 6.2 million pounds.
Did you know?
Work together in pairs: What are two ways that a rocket can be propelled from Earth's surface?
What are the main components of a rocket and how do they work together to propel a rocket into space?
Work together in pairs: What is the most important safety rule to remember when launching a rocket?
Brain break: Draw a cow flying on a hot air balloon through the sky.
Who built the world's first liquid-fueled rocket?
- Elon Musk
- Robert Goddard
- Wernher von Braun
What is the main advantage of a liquid fuel rocket over a solid fuel rocket?
- It is less expensive.
- It can be throttled or turned off completely.
- It produces more thrust.
What was the name of NASA's first manned spaceflight program that sent astronauts to orbit Earth?
- Space Shuttle Program
- Apollo Program
- Project Mercury
Which country launched the world's first satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957?
What was the name of the spacecraft that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to land on the moon in July 1969?
- Apollo 11
- Mercury-Atlas 6
- Gemini IV