Cambridge University came to the school to talk about Rockets to Year 6. She informed us about a lot of interesting ideas on motion and forces and Newton's Laws of Motion. Rockets were made and launched using compressed air.
What is a Rocket?
The word "rocket" can mean different things. Most people think of a tall, thin, round vehicle. Rockets enable us to launch into space satellites for weather forecasting, testing equipment to show the health of our oceans, surveillance and communication.
Why Does a Rocket Work?
In space, an engine has nothing to push against. So how do rockets move there? Rockets work by a scientific rule called Newton's third law of motion. English scientist Sir Isaac Newton listed three Laws of Motion.He did this more than 300 years ago.
His third law says that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction".This means that for every force there is a reaction force that is equal in size, but opposite in direction. That is to say that whenever an object pushes another object it gets pushed back in the opposite direction equally hard.
The rocket pushes on its exhaust (the Action). The exhaust pushes the rocket the Action and the Reaction to this is that the Rocket moves upward.
When Were Rockets Invented?
The first rockets we know about were used in China in the 1200s. These solid rockets were used for fireworks. Armies also used them in wars. In the next 700 years, people made bigger and better solid rockets. Many of these were used for wars too. In 1961 the Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin was the first the first man in space followed by the United States in 1969 with The Apollo Space Mission. The international Space station now provides a more permanent means of obtaining information from the health of our sun to the discovery of dwarf planets.
How Does NASA Use Rockets?
Early NASA missions used rockets built by the military.The first rockets NASA built to launch astronauts were the Saturn I, the Saturn IB and the Saturn V. These rockets were used for the Apollo missions. The Apollo missions sent men to the moon. A Saturn V also launched the Skylab space station. The space shuttle uses rocket engines.
NASA uses rockets to launch satellites. It also uses rockets to send probes to other worlds. These rockets include the Atlas V, the Delta II, the Pegasus and Taurus. NASA uses smaller "sounding rockets" for scientific research. These rockets go up and come back down. They do not fly into orbit.
This means that for every force there is a reaction force that is equal in size, but opposite in direction. That is to say that whenever an object pushes another object it gets pushed back in the opposite direction equally hard.