Three, two, one...blast off!

Three, two, one...blast off!

How does a rocket take off?

One of the most amazing feats that humans have accomplished is going into space. This video from NASA shows a rocket taking off:

How does a rocket take off?

Rockets need to escape the Earth's gravity - the force pulling objects towards the Earth. To do this, they must generate a huge amount of thrust - the force that pushes the rocket upwards.

Rockets carry a lot of fuel. This fuel burns slowly and generates lots and lots of heat. When the rocket fuel burns, it also produces gas. The build up of this gas escapes the rocket with a lot of force and provides enough thrust for the rocket to blast off.

Rocket taking off_57340491

Rocket burning fuel to provide thrust for take off

To maintain enough thrust to overcome the Earth's gravity, the rocket must carry lots of fuel in many tanks. When a tank of fuel is used up, the fuel tank is released from the rocket, which makes the rocket much lighter.

In summary:

Rockets take off by burning fuel.

Burning fuel produces gas as a byproduct, which escapes the rocket with a lot of force.

The force of the gas escaping provides enough thrust to power the rocket upwards and escape the the force of gravity pulling it back to Earth. Simple!

You can make your own rocket HERE - it's powered on Alka-Seltzer, not rocket fuel!