From launching the first American into orbit to safely returning the first man on the Moon home, rockets and re-entry vehicles have paved the way for more complex human space exploration missions.
Test out your knowledge on launch and re-entry vehicles with today’s pop quiz!
What is the maximum amount of thrust NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) will produce at liftoff for the Artemis I mission?
The maximum amount of thrust NASA's SLS will generate at launch for Artemis I is 8.8 million pounds. That's 15% more thrust than the mighty Saturn V. For the first Artemis mission, the SLS will be in the Block 1 configuration. However, the SLS will evolve into more powerful configurations for later Artemis flights.
On the launchpad, how tall did the mighty Saturn V stand?
The famous Saturn V rocket that launched the historic Apollo lunar missions stood a whopping 363 feet tall. That's taller than NASA's new lunar rocket, the SLS, by 41 feet! It's also 58 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty!
Which of the following was the world's first liquid-fuel rocket to launch?
On March 16, 1926, Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fuel rocket from a snowy field in Massachusetts. The launch paved the way for the historic Apollo missions to the Moon.
Which rocket launched the first American into orbit?
In 1962, NASA astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth after launching in his Mercury capsule, Friendship 7, atop an Atlas rocket.
Upon re-entry, how hot will Orion get?
According to NASA, upon re-entry Orion will encounter temperatures of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, essentially becoming one large fireball. The heat shield will protect the astronauts and systems inside the capsule as Orion re-enters Earth's atmosphere.
True or False? SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is the world's first-ever reusable rocket.
True. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is the planet's first-ever recyclable orbital class rocket.
How fast is SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft traveling upon re-entry?
According to NASA, upon re-entry, SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule moves at orbital velocity, traveling at a speed of roughly 17,500 miles per hour!
Which rocket launched the first American into space?
In 1961, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard launched in his Freedom 7 Mercury spacecraft atop a Redstone rocket, becoming the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.
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