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The Basics of Rocket Science


Why are rockets so big? Is there gravity in space? How does a rocket engine even work? In this course, you’ll explore the major concepts of rocket science, including orbital dynamics, velocity, and different types of engines that help propel a rocket out of Earth’s atmosphere. Determine how rocket scientists use formulas and Newton’s laws to propel rockets off the ground and accelerate them to their destination. Explore how and why rockets have stages, including how rocket scientists choose between solid and liquid engines for rockets. With The Basics of Rocket Science, you’ll even get an inside look at how we might get humans to Mars, an advancement in rocket science that could change humanity's future.




4 weeks



U-M Credit Eligible



  • Aaron Ridley

    Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering

    College of Engineering