Rockets 01


How is it that a rocket can fly in space but an airplane cannot?

LEARNING GOAL FOR TODAY: I will be able to show how a rocket can work in outer space after today's class


Newton's 3rd Law: For every force exerted on an object, there is a separate but equal and opposite force exerted on a second object.


Rockets seem to be deceptively simple: Fuel is ignited and the rocket *should* move upward.

Why is it, then, that rockets are so difficult to construct AND maneuver.


Before we begin, let's do a review of rocketry for the last 100 years.

Group #1: 1940 - 1945 (WWII)

Group #2: 1945 - 1960

Group # 3: 1961 - 1975 (The Apollo Years)

Group #4: 1975 - 2010 (The Space Shuttle)

Group #5: 2010 - Present (Commercial Space Flight)

Please work with your group to make a group presentation on rocketry during that period. Make sure to highlight innovations and new designs that happened during your period.

  • Show a picture of a rocket developed during that time period
  • How far did that rocket fly?
  • What kind of fuel did it use?
  • Were there significant problems with that rocket?
  • Interesting tidbits?

Let's present!

Here's another interesting question -- What is the most powerful machine ever created by human beings?






Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Saturn V ("Saturn Five") rocket:


The Saturn V could lift 140,000 kg into "Low Earth Orbit" or it could lift 48,600 kg to the moon!

Let's work at making some observations of this image-- take a look at your handouts

How much of the Saturn V rocket was used ONLY to get out of the Earth's atmosphere?

Let's take a look...