New rocket science course lets you learn more about spaceflight
Ready to rock the rocket equation?
Varsity Tutors has a class for aspiring rocket scientists, with no experience necessary. The class walks you through the basics of how to introduce a rocket into space, assuming a college-level education. The class takes place on Thursday (October 7) for free and registration at Varsity Tutors is now available (opens in a new tab).
“Rocket propulsion is one of those things that is very dramatic,” tutor Greg Brown, who works at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Ohio, told Space.com. “It shows us these exciting images of big things taking off with a lot of power, a lot of heat and light. It’s exciting.”
Related: Discover the evolution of SpaceX rockets in pictures
Brown pointed out, however, that there’s a lot more engineering to getting a rocket off the ground than flames and drama. The course aims to show how engineering informs all aspects of the space industry and how this same engineering can also appear in our daily lives. The course also shows how rockets have gone from instruments of government to large deployments by private industry, including companies like SpaceX.
“We have to keep making things better, fixing things, innovating and inventing,” Brown said.
The course provides an overview of how rockets work, including propulsion, orbital mechanics, and some of the physical laws governing how things work in space, such as Newton’s laws of motion.
It won’t be your standard conference, Brown said. The content will be mixed with multiple choice questions, interactive activities and some humorous moments to help lift the heaviest.
“I just want kids and viewers to get a sense of what I’m talking about, and maybe take something away, and I want them to have fun too,” he said.
Brown will also draw from the exhibits he manages in his full-time job as a historian and collections coordinator at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum, which closely follows the life of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong – the first person to step on it the moon.
Related: The Photographic Legacy of Neil Armstrong: Rare Views of the First Man on the Moon
There are museum moments along the way. One is a view of a Rocketdyne H-1 engine in the museum’s collection; engines of this type were used on the first stage of Saturn 1B which transported humans to the skylab space station, for example.
The museum is full of content featuring Nasathe Gemini and Apollo programs, in which Armstrong flew. Wherever possible, Brown seeks to link information to newer programs run by SpaceXor the next NASA project Artemis 1 mission to the moon.
“Let’s face it: Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler don’t change,” Brown said, referring to two scientists who formulated much of the physics underlying space travel today. materials, computing, communications and those things are much better now. “