October 23, 2021

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How rockets work: A complete guide

9 min read


Rockets are our species’ best way of escaping Earth‘s atmosphere and reaching space. But the process behind getting these machines to work is far from simple. Here’s what you need to know about getting a rocket into space. 

How rockets lift off

Writers and inventors have dreamt of exploring the universe beyond Earth for centuries, but the real challenges of traveling into space only became clear in the 19th century. Experimental balloon flights showed that Earth’s atmosphere thins out rapidly at high altitudes, and so even before powered flight became a reality, engineers knew that devices that create a forward or upward force by pushing against a surrounding medium like air — such as wings and propellers — would be of no use in space. 



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