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ARTICLE

Investigating rockets – introduction

Rocket science includes ideas of forces and motion, how rockets work and some of the challenges for those wanting to make rockets go faster and higher.  In the last 60 years, rocket science and ...

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ARTICLE

Rocket aerodynamics

Rocket aerodynamics is the study of how air flows over a rocket and how this affects drag and stability. The nose cone and fins of a rocket are designed to minimise drag (air resistance) and to ...

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ARTICLE

Calculating rocket acceleration

How does the acceleration of a model rocket compare to the Space Shuttle? By using the resultant force and mass, acceleration can be calculated. Forces acting The two forces acting on rockets at ...

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ARTICLE

Lift-off

A rocket will launch and keep speeding up as long as the force pushing it upwards (thrust) is greater than the forces pulling and pushing it downwards (gravity and drag). Newton’s first law ...

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ARTICLE

Brief history of rockets – timeline

This timeline looks at some of the historical aspects of rockets - taking science and technology to new heights. 1232 – Chinese fire arrows The first true rocket is invented by the Chinese. Fire ...

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ARTICLE

Getting rockets into space

Rockets launched into space can be suborbital (brief visit to space) or orbital (staying in motion around the Earth) or can escape Earth’s gravity to travel deeper into space. What is space? The ...

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ARTICLE

Rockets and mass

The mass of a rocket is important for two reasons – an object with less mass accelerates more quickly, and an object with more mass has more gravitational force acting on it. To understand these ...

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ACTIVITY

Launch simulator challenge

In this activity, students use a rocket launch simulation. They change variables such as thrust to make a rocket go as high as possible. By the end of this activity, students should be able to ...

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ACTIVITY

Water bottle rockets

In this activity, students make a water bottle rocket. They investigate the variables that affect the height and distance travelled by the rocket. By the end of this activity, students should be ...

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ARTICLE

Types of chemical rocket engines

Chemical rocket engines use a fuel (something to burn) and an oxidiser (something to react with the fuel). Together, they are referred to as the propellant. As the propellant reacts inside a ...

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ACTIVITY

Balloon car challenge

In this activity, students design and build a balloon-powered car to better understand the science ideas related to rocket propulsion. They use ideas of mass and force to work out ways to improve ...

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ARTICLE

Rockets and thrust

What is a rocket pushing against to make it start moving? Is it pushing against the ground? The air? The flames? To make any object start moving, something needs to push against something else ...

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ACTIVITY

Introduction to rockets and space

In this activity, students view a slide show presentation introducing some rockets, their purposes and distances travelled in space. By the end of this activity, students should be able to ...

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TEACHER PLD

Physical World – Forces

Are you looking for ways to teach forces? If you’re new to the Science Learning Hub, you may want to start with our introductory video on teaching physics. Alternatively, below are use the links ...

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ACTIVITY

Effervescent canister rockets

In this activity, students make an effervescent canister rocket using baking soda and vinegar. They develop their understanding of rocket propulsion and investigate the amount of vinegar that ...

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ARTICLE

Rocket control

University of Canterbury PhD students Malcolm Snowdon and Avinash Rao are developing flight control systems for rockets. They use electronic sensors to measure any changes in motion so that ...

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TEACHER PLD

Rockets teaching sequence – unit plan

Rocket science includes ideas of forces and motion, how rockets work and some of the challenges for those wanting to make rockets go faster and higher. This teaching sequence introduces students ...

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ARTICLE

Investigating rockets – question bank

An inquiry approach is a method often used in science education. The question bank provides an initial list of questions about rockets and places where their answers can be found. The article ...

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ACTIVITY

Investigating rocket motion

In this activity, students investigate the motion of a rocket using a spreadsheet with graphs of motion included. They adjust variables and investigate how height and speed are affected. By the ...

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ARTICLE

Rocket Lab

When we first met Peter Beck in 2010, his company Rocket Lab (formed in 2006) had not long achieved New Zealand’s first launch of a rocket into space. The suborbital sounding rocket, Ātea-1 ...

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ARTICLE

Peter Beck

Position: CEO and technical director, Rocket Lab. Field: Rocket engineering. Peter Beck is CEO and technical director of Rocket Lab, a New Zealand rocket technology company. He founded Rocket Lab ...

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