How Does a Spacecraft Reach the Moon?
by Barbara J. Davis
Science and Curriculum Consultant: Debra Voege, M.A., Science Curriculum Resource Teacher

Science in the Real World: How Does a Spacecraft Reach the Moon? Copyright © 2010 by Infobase Publishing All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact: Chelsea Clubhouse An imprint of Chelsea House Publishers 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Davis, Barbara J. How does a spacecraft reach the moon? / by Barbara J. Davis; science and curriculum consultant, Debra Voege. p. cm. — (Science in the real world) Includes index. ISBN 978-1-60413-470-4 1. Space flight—Juvenile literature. 2. Astronautics—Juvenile literature. 3. Aerospace engineering—Juvenile literature. I. Title. II. Series. TL793.D37376 2010 629.43’53—dc22 2009012925 Chelsea Clubhouse books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk quantities for businesses, associations, institutions, or sales promotions. Please call our Special Sales Department in New York at (212) 967-8800 or (800) 322-8755. You can find Chelsea Clubhouse on the World Wide Web at http://www.chelseahouse.com Developed for Chelsea House by RJF Publishing LLC (www.RJFpublishing.com) Text and cover design by Tammy West/Westgraphix LLC Illustrations by Spectrum Creative Inc. Photo research by Edward A. Thomas Index by Nila Glikin Photo Credits: 4, 29: NASA; 8, 22, 24: NASA-HQ-GRIN; 14: Schiller Schiller/Photolibrary; 15: North Wind Picture Archives/Photolibrary; 18: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Service optique CSG and European Space Agency; 20, 21: NASA-JSC; 23: © Chris Howes/Wild Places Photography/Alamy; 25: NASA-MSFC; 28: Getty Images. Printed and bound in the United States of America Bang RJF 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This book is printed on acid-free paper. All links and Web addresses were checked and verified to be correct at the time of publication. Because of the dynamic nature of the Web, some addresses and links may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid.

.................................................................................................... 18 Mass and Payload ............................................................................................................................. 16 Friction .................. 14 Gravity ..... 26 50 Years of Moon Shots ....................................................... 12 Inertia . 22 Engines Big and Small ............................................................................................................................. 20 Action and Reaction .......................................Table of Contents Destination: The Moon................................ 10 Forces.............................. 6 Speed ................................................. 28 Glossary ................................................................. 32 Words that are defined in the Glossary are in bold type the first time they appear in the text.............................. 30 To Learn More ........... 5 ........................ 24 Fueling Moon Flights......................................................................................................... 8 Acceleration ................................................................................. 31 Index ... 4 Motion Is Relative ..........

Destination: The Moon The rocket being launched here sent American astronauts on their way to the Moon in 1969. These T 4 . As you zip along the ramps. they do. You’re thinking this is going to be a really cool run on your skateboard. The surface on the half-pipe is smooth. But skateboards have nothing to do with the Moon. do they? Actually. you notice a big full Moon starting to rise above the skate park’s lights. You and your skateboard rely on some of the same science principles as a spacecraft heading for the Moon. You have a quick thought about how much fun it would be to skateboard to the Moon. There’s a nice breeze at your back. he temperature is perfect.

All the rest of the flights had no crew and were controlled by signals from Earth and by onboard computers. Rocket Power Another set of science principles also plays a big role in how a spacecraft works. they circled around it.principles deal with motion and with gravity. They also describe the effects of gravity—such as Earth’s gravity. Most Moon shots have been launched by just two countries: the United States and the Soviet Union (which is now split up into Russia and many other countries). which holds us all on the ground. This involves a reaction between two or more chemicals. You yourself make your skateboard go. Some of them simply flew past the Moon. Some landed on it. but spacecraft are powered by rockets. So along with the science of motion and gravity. Some went into orbit around it—that is. They govern how things move. Most space rockets get their power by burning fuel.000 miles (383. Missions between 1968 and 1972 in the Apollo program of the United States carried people. the science of how chemicals react with each other is important in understanding how a heavy spacecraft can leave Earth and reach the Moon. 5 ? . DID YOU KNOW Moon Shots The Moon is about 238. Several of these “Moon shots” included a return trip to Earth.000 kilometers) from Earth. These have to do with what makes the spacecraft go. Dozens of spacecraft have flown there.

you first have to understand a basic fact about motion. or orbiting. the Moon is orbiting Earth. o understand how a spacecraft can reach the Moon. Say you watch a bird fly away from a tree. The tree serves as what is called a reference point. the Sun. What really happens? The bird changes its position. In other words. the bird’s motion is relative to the tree. A scientist wanting to study this movement will measure how much and how quickly the bird’s position changes in relation to the tree.Motion Is Relative Earth is spinning around an imaginary line through its center called its axis. At the same time. Earth is also going around. T Earth and the Moon in Motion Sun Moon Earth 6 .

So the ground. from west to east. Scientists have to take these into account when planning the spacecraft’s course. Watch a kid on a skateboard. Earth is moving in another important way as well. relative to the ground. Another important motion is the spinning of Earth. you. with the Sun as a reference point. Mission planners also have to pay attention to movement of the Moon as the spacecraft is in flight. One example is the upward movement. Everything’s Moving If you’re sitting at a desk reading this book and you use the objects around you as a frame of reference.In fact. He seems to be moving relative to the ground. and everything else on Earth’s surface are always moving relative to Earth’s center. A spacecraft launched from Earth’s surface shares this motion. Actually. It circles the Sun following a path called an orbit. It takes one year for Earth to go once around the Sun. 7 . You see the motion in relation to some reference point or some frame of reference. DID YOU KNOW Moon Motion ? Several types of motion affect the path taken by a spacecraft going from Earth to the Moon. of the rocket launching the spacecraft as it blasts off. every example of motion you can find is relative. for instance. The Moon is constantly traveling in an orbit around Earth. Earth is constantly spinning. it doesn’t seem like you are moving at all. relative to its center.

or any other object. such as miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (km/ hr). Their speed changes to fit the situation. For example. It is talked about as a unit of distance divided by a unit of time. a rocket. a runner might run quickly on level ground. her speed increases again. Speed is the amount of distance something travels in a certain amount of time. For example. a car moving at 50 mph (80 km/hr) will travel 50 miles (80 kilometers) in one hour. Then. 8 S . Coming down the hill.Speed peed is one important way of describing the motion of a skateboard.300 km/hr) to escape the pull of Earth’s gravity. A rocket launched from Earth has to reach a speed of about 25. though. Most things do not travel at a constant speed.000 mph (40. as she starts to go up a hill. her speed drops. Changing Speed An object that always stays at the same speed is said to travel at constant speed.

they look at both the speed at which the spacecraft has to travel and the direction in which it needs to go. On many Moon missions. As it comes near the Moon. It has a certain speed in this orbit. Velocity describes the speed of an object in a given direction. When the time comes to head for the Moon.300 mph (8. The craft’s three astronauts are shown shortly before liftoff.300 mph (37.500 mph (26.600 km/hr) 23. the spacecraft picks up enough speed to go into orbit around Earth.500 km/hr) 14. it starts slowly on takeoff but quickly increases its speed. 28.500 km/hr) When a spacecraft is launched to the Moon.700 km/hr) 16. 21 seconds 11 minutes. Velocity and Speed The table shows how the Apollo 17 spacecraft increased its speed in the first hours after launch. the craft adjusts its speed in order to go into orbit around the Moon or land on it. DID YOU KNOW ? Besides knowing the speed at which an object is traveling. it is also important to know the direction in which it is traveling. 53 seconds 3 hours. When scientists calculate the time it takes a spacecraft to reach its destination. 9 .700 mph (23. 42 seconds 9 minutes. 18 minutes. the spacecraft increases its speed in order to break out of orbit.5 seconds Approximate Speed 0 mph (0 km/hr) 5.Speed of Apollo 17 Spacecraft as It Headed for the Moon Time After Takeo 0 seconds (resting on launch pad) 2 minutes.

Acceleration magine a track meet. and the runners push off. It is the rate at which velocity changes. The runners all line up at the starting line. So accelerating the object may involve changing its speed or changing its direction (or both). acceleration means simply “speeding up. the starting gun goes off. Remember that velocity involves the direction in which an object moves as well as its speed. At this point. I The powerful rockets that launch spacecraft to the Moon often have stages. A Two-Stage Rocket Spacecraft Going to the Moon Launch Rocket Second Stage Launch Rocket First Stage 10 . To most people.” In science. We say that they accelerate. They begin to increase their speed. that stage drops off and the next stage takes over the job of accelerating the spacecraft. though. Then. the word has a different meaning. their velocity is 0—they aren’t moving. As the fuel in each stage gets used up.

The stages are usually arranged in a stack. and only the spacecraft going to the Moon is left. Whenever the spacecraft needs to change its speed or change its direction during flight. Big rockets like those used to launch Moon shots usually have stages. a spacecraft going to the Moon is put on top of a big.) Eventually. all of the stages of the launch rocket drop away. Like stages.Rocket Acceleration Scientists planning a space mission have to think carefully about acceleration. DID YOU KNOW Booster Rockets Big rockets may also have booster rockets attached. very powerful rocket. it has to use its engines. (Often it falls into the ocean or onto an empty area of land. Each stage carries fuel and engines. that stage separates and drops away. Spacecraft traveling to the Moon have rocket engines in them. boosters carry engines and fuel. In order to get enough acceleration to get off the ground and out into space. and they drop away when their job is finished. Flight planners need to make sure the craft has the right amount of fuel and the right engines to follow the correct flight path to get it to the Moon. When the fuel in each stage is used up. 11 ? .

The team that uses the most force pulls the other team across a line. Pushes and pulls are examples of what scientists call forces.Forces H ow do you make something accelerate? How do you make it move. two teams pull on a rope in opposite directions. This is an example of how motion is af- 12 . you are using force in one direction. such as gravity. It is also described by the direction of the push or pull. Balanced and Unbalanced Forces In a tug-of-war. When you pull on that same door. or stop? You give it a push or a pull. When you push on a door. These include not only the forces generated by its engines to make it go. change its speed or direction. Scientists designing a Moon rocket have to take into account all the forces that will act on it. you are using force. When you pull at the zipper on your jacket. Force is described by the amount of push or pull. but also other forces that affect its motion. you are using force in the opposite direction.

off the launchpad. If the two tugof-war teams are evenly matched. It is about the force you would need to lift a normal-sized empty glass. the situation is different. The teams both pull as hard as they can. The force of the pull from one team is greater than the force of the pull from the other team.5 million newtons—enough to lift the colossal rocket. or upward force. however. produced by a Moon rocket’s engine is much greater. When balanced forces act on an object. DID YOU KNOW Measuring Force The strength of a force is often measured in units called newtons.Thrust Lifts a Rocket fected by unbalanced force. The thrust. Gravity Rockets that launch spacecraft to the Moon produce a powerful upward force called thrust that is stronger than the force of gravity pulling down on the rocket and spacecraft. ? 13 . One newton is not a very big force. they will not change that object’s motion. The engines in the first stage of the huge Saturn V rocket used to launch the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon could produce about 34.7 million pounds (3 million kilograms). which weighed about 6. but the one force is exactly balanced by the other force. Unbalanced forces acting on an object will change the obThrust ject’s motion.

not moving at all) and with objects that are moving. The first law also says that an object in motion will move at a constant Seatbelts in a car stop the continued forward motion of the people when the car is stopped suddenly. Newton discovered three basic laws. In this photo. Scientists still rely on these laws of motion when figuring out how to get a spacecraft to the Moon.Inertia he unit of measurement for force called the newton is named in honor of the English scientist and mathematician Isaac Newton. Newton’s first law of motion deals both with objects that are at rest (that is. the strength of these seatbelts is being tested using crash dummies. In the late 1600s. or principles. that describe how forces affect objects. It says that an object at rest will remain at rest unless it is acted upon by a force strong enough to make it move. T 14 .

the passengers in a moving car keep moving forward when the car stops suddenly. That is what seatbelts do. he made important discoveries about gravity. Think of two glass jars that are exactly alike in size and shape. He also developed new ideas about mathematics. For example. Mass is the amount of matter in the object. light.speed in a straight line unless acted upon by a force strong enough to make it change its speed or direction. Mass and Inertia The inertia an object has depends on its mass. Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist change in its motion. The only way to stop inertia is to exert an opposite force. Fill the other jar with feathers. and color. You have to use more force to move the jar of nickels. The mass of the jar with the nickels is much greater. Fill one jar with nickels. 15 ? . He was one of the greatest scientists of all time. The first law is sometimes called the law of inertia. It has greater inertia. DID YOU KNOW Isaac Newton (1642–1727) Isaac Newton lived from 1642 to 1727. The passengers have inertia. In addition to the three laws of motion.

The planet Jupiter. the pull of Jupiter’s gravity is stronger. a person who weighs 100 pounds on Earth would weigh 236 pounds on Jupiter! G Weight and Mass People sometimes think the words weight and mass mean the same thing. has more mass. But for scientists. Therefore.Gravity ravity is a force that acts to pull objects straight down toward the center of Earth. they mean Weight and Gravity 236 Pounds 100 Pounds Earth Jupiter 16 . Actually. much larger than Earth. everything— not just Earth—has this sort of pull. It pulls you down to the ground when you fall off your skateboard. For this reason. Even you have a gravitational pull on things.

As the spacecraft gets closer to the Moon. much weaker than the pull of Earth’s gravity on you. it has to first pick up enough speed to escape from the Moon’s gravity. The greater the mass. But your mass is tiny compared to that of Earth. Weight is the force of gravity on a person or object at the surface of a planet. lift it up.different things. and send it on its way. but you would still have the same mass. The gravitational pull of an object depends on the amount of mass it has. the scale measures the force with which Earth pulls on you. DID YOU KNOW Pulling Away from Earth…and from the Moon A spacecraft heading to the Moon has to deal with the force of gravity before it can get anywhere. 17 ? . at a certain point it will be pulled toward the Moon by the Moon’s gravity. Mass is something different. the pull of Earth’s gravity decreases. Of course. As the spacecraft gets farther from Earth. you pull Earth to you at the same time Earth pulls you toward its center. When you stand on a scale. far from the pull of Earth’s gravity. The thrust of a powerful rocket is needed to overcome the pull of gravity. Far out in space. the Moon has its own gravity. It is a measure of the amount of matter in an object. So the pull you exert on Earth is much. When you fall off your skateboard. your weight might go down to just about zero. For a spacecraft that has landed on the Moon to return to Earth. the stronger the pull.

The launch rocket in the righthand photo has a streamlined shape to reduce friction as it travels through the air. But actually both have bumps and ridges. Friction is created when the bumps and ridges of the two surfaces come into contact with each other. where there is no air. Friction occurs when two surfaces rub together. It travels in space. friction is a force that can affect the motion of an object. 18 . The spacecraft in the left-hand photo does not need a streamlined shape. Think of the wheels of a skateboard on pavement. It may seem that the wheels and the pavement are both smooth.Friction L ike gravity.

How strong the force of friction will be depends on a couple of factors. For example. you supply the push. Without friction. the rougher the surfaces. the only way the object can keep moving is if it gets a push (or a pull) from some other force. They want to make this air resistance. 19 ? . For the skateboard. drag is not a problem for spacecraft that operate only in space. Air particles hit an object as it moves through the air. That is why rockets are given a streamlined shape. the object would keep moving at a constant speed forever.Friction Opposes Motion If a moving object meets continuous friction. where there is no air. Of course. the greater the friction. the greater the resistance it meets from the air. There is more friction if you rub your hands together with some force than if you rub your hands together lightly. Such a shape reduces the surface hit by air particles. The more air particles that collide with it. Such spacecraft do not need to be streamlined. making it easier for the rocket to move smoothly through the air and lift its spacecraft. DID YOU KNOW Friction and Rockets Air can also be a source of friction. The faster the object goes. With friction. One is the type of surfaces involved. Another factor is how hard the surfaces push together. sooner or later it will be brought to a stop. Designers of rockets have to pay attention to this fact. the more it is hit with air particles.” as small as possible. or “drag.

Now the mass is much greater. The greater the mass. and you have to use a lot more force to push it. 20 . the greater the amount of force required. change its speed or direction—depends on the size of the object’s mass. a greater force will produce a greater change in speed or direction. I Astronaut Neil Armstrong was part of the payload of the spacecraft that took him to the Moon in 1969. It is very easy to push. This science principle says that the amount of force needed to move an object—that is. Suppose you fill it with rocks. This fact is explained by Isaac Newton’s second law of motion. The law also says that for a given mass. It has very little mass.Mass and Payload magine an empty cardboard box.

they must take into consideration the mass of the payload. When scientists design spacecraft. in simple terms. If you want the box full of rocks to move quickly. Many factors affect how big a payload a spacecraft can carry. However. if everything else is equal. If you want the full box to move slowly. In other words. there is a way you can make the box move quickly without pushing hard. will occur in the same direction as the force. you use less force. You can reduce the box’s mass: Take some rocks out! Payloads and the Second Law The payload of a spacecraft consists of the things it carries. DID YOU KNOW ? . force.The change in speed or in direction. you can make the spacecraft go faster simply by lightening the payload. and (for some missions) the crew. Mass. you have to push hard. Tying Together Force. however. by the way. and acceleration. 21 These rocks brought back from the Moon by Apollo program astronauts were part of the payload on the trip home. So Newton’s second law shows the connection between mass. you have to use a lot of force to accelerate it to a fast speed. Payload can include cargo. scientific instruments. The cardboard box will move in the direction you push. According to the second law. Acceleration Remember that a change in the speed or direction of motion of an object is known as acceleration.

The second force is equal in strength to the first force. Newton’s third law is often stated in the following easy-to-remember T The downward force of the hot gas created when fuel is burned in a rocket produces the opposite upward force— the thrust—that lifts the rocket off the ground. However.” Whenever one object exerts a force on a second object. that second force acts in the opposite direction from the first force. the second object also exerts a force back on the first object.Action and Reaction he third of Newton’s three laws of motion says that forces are not “one-sided. 22 .

When you walk. The other car pushes your car with a force equal to yours. If you use a hammer to pound a nail into a piece of wood. That’s why the act of hitting the nail with the hammer causes the hammer to stop moving. 23 When you ram another car on a bumper car ride. your car bounces back.way: “For every action. but in the opposite direction. Thrust and Newton’s Third Law Rockets lift spacecraft because of the principle of action and reaction. there is an equal and opposite reaction. an equal and opposite force pushes your car back. the nail exerts an equal force back on the hammer. Bumper cars at amusement parks are so much fun because of Newton’s third law. The ground pushes back on your feet with an equal and opposite force. If your car rams another car. you push against the ground with your feet.” Look Around You can see examples of the third law everywhere. DID YOU KNOW ? . A rocket engine contains fuel inside it that produces hot gas that rushes out the rocket’s back end. The downward force of this stream of hot gas has an equal and opposite reaction: the upward thrust that lifts the rocket off the ground—and lifts the spacecraft the rocket carries.

The “rover” the astronauts used to ride around the landing area is on the right. The Saturn V stood about 360 feet (110 meters) tall. They have to produce enough thrust to overcome gravity and drag and to lift a heavy payload off the ground and into space.Engines Big and Small ockets that launch spacecraft from Earth’s surface have a tough job. R The small landing craft that brought Apollo 15 astronauts to the Moon’s surface in 1971 is on the left in this photo. 24 . It had three stages. with five engines in each of the first two stages and one engine in the third stage. This is why the Apollo missions that took people to the Moon and back used the huge Saturn V rocket.

and return to Earth. send a small craft to the Moon’s surface. Another part of the Apollo spacecraft. was linked to the command module for most of the mission. the second stage of a huge Saturn V rocket is unloaded from its shipping container at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Smart-1 first had to be lifted into orbit by a large rocket. it included the crew’s living space and had several thrusters. The command module separated from the service module before reaching Earth. receive the craft back. On some missions this spacecraft had to go into orbit around the Moon. The little craft that visited the Moon’s surface had engines for landing and takeoff as well as more than a dozen small engines called thrusters for maneuvering. Of course.Launching from Space The job is easier if you launch a spacecraft to the Moon from space— say. Only part of the Apollo spacecraft returned to Earth. called the service module. using parts lifted into orbit by smaller rockets. Perhaps someday it will be possible to put together spacecraft in orbit. DID YOU KNOW ? . It had thrusters along with an engine for getting into and out of lunar orbit. from orbit around Earth. The European Space Agency’s Smart-1 spacecraft was launched to the Moon from orbit in 2003. Apollo Engines The Apollo missions had a special spacecraft atop the Saturn V rocket. Called the command module. where Earth’s gravity is weaker and there is no air resistance. 25 In this photo.

Others use solid fuel. Also. Liquid-fuel T Liquid-Fuel and Solid-Fuel Rockets Liquid-Fuel Rocket Spacecraft Liquid Oxygen Solid-Fuel Rocket Spacecraft Igniter Fuel Chamber Where Fuel Burns Pumps Nozzle Chamber Where Fuel Burns Nozzle 26 . he chemical reaction produced by rocket fuels has to be very powerful. In a solid-fuel rocket. the reaction must occur at a more or less steady rate. so the engine can give a reliable amount of power for a certain period of time. the fuel is stored in the chamber where it is burned.Fueling Moon Flights In a liquid-fuel rocket. But it shouldn’t be too powerful. Two Different Types of Fuel Some rocket engines use liquid fuel. the rocket engine will explode. and if the fuel burns too fast. the fuel and liquid oxygen are stored separately until the fuel is to be burned in another chamber. If it is too strong.

approach to getting to the Moon: a kind of electric engine! This engine produced a thrust that was very weak. it usually continues to burn there once the reaction is started. and it was launched from space. can be loaded well in advance. so the missile can be fired at a moment’s notice. When it is ignited (lit). The solid fuel is kept in the engine. is added to it.engines usually combine two chemicals to produce a reaction. however. they are more often used in space rockets. Solid-fuel engines are something like giant fireworks. Liquid-fuel engines are easier to control. liquid oxygen or something similar. The European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket has liquid-fuel main stages and solid-fuel boosters. so the thrust was enough to slowly move the craft toward the Moon. unlike liquid fuel. The chemicals are stored in tanks. For that reason. Smart-1 began to orbit the Moon more than a year after it was launched. It is fed to the engine. The spacecraft had a very small mass. and quite different. Some big rockets use both solid-fuel and liquid-fuel engines. DID YOU KNOW A Different Kind of Fuel Smart-1 used a third. ? 27 . Military missiles that launch weapons often use solid-fuel engines. where it burns when the other chemical. Solid fuel. The engine also worked for a long time. One chemical is the basic fuel.

So did Apollo 10 in May 1969.50 Years of Moon Shots P eople began sending spacecraft to study the Moon in 1959. Landings were made on the Moon by Apollo 11 and 12 in 1969. spacecraft Pioneer 4 also did a flyby.S.S. Apollo program sent people to the Moon. ending with the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976. Apollo 14 and 15 in 1971. Apollo 13 in 1970 was also supposed to land This rocket launched a Chinese spacecraft to the Moon in 2007. The Soviet Union’s spacecraft Luna 1 flew past the Moon early that year. 28 . Apollo 8 orbited the Moon at the end of 1968. A couple of months later the U. Only the U. and Apollo 16 and 17 in 1972. The following years saw many Moon missions by both the United States and the Soviet Union.

The U. Japan.” 29 . and the United States have launched missions to the Moon. When he set foot on the Moon. The damaged craft with its three astronauts barely made it back to Earth. he said: “That’s one small step for man. Eventually. DID YOU KNOW One Small Step… ? People in the United States and around the world were proud and excited when Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the Moon on July 20. Armstrong got out of the spacecraft first. In the past twenty years. Back to the Moon After Luna 24 people focused on developing space stations and on sending space probes to other parts of the solar system.on the Moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin looks at the American flag he and Neil Armstrong placed on the Moon in 1969. China.S. the European Space Agency. 1969. A few Soviet spacecraft without crews that landed on the Moon also returned to Earth. space scientists again started sending spacecraft to study the Moon. one giant leap for mankind. but there was an explosion. and Soviet missions brought scientists valuable data and samples of Moon rocks. all without crews. India.

weight—The force of gravity on an object. force—A push or pull. accelerate. mass—The amount of matter in an object. velocity—The rate at which an object changes position. velocity involves both the speed and the direction of an object’s motion. lunar—Having to do with the Moon. gravity—A force that pulls objects toward the center of a body. (2) A force opposite to another force. newton—A unit of measurement for force. orbit—The path followed by a body as it circles around another body because of the pull of the second body’s gravity. such as a spacecraft with scientific instruments and crew.Glossary acceleration—A change in the velocity of an object. 30 . payload—The things carried by a rocket or other vehicle. Some reactions can produce energy. reaction—(1) A process in which substances act on each other. booster—A rocket that is attached to a main rocket and helps provide the thrust it needs. rocket—An engine or vehicle that carries all its own fuel and is powered by the reaction force created by hot gas rushing out of the back end. especially as measured at the surface of a planet. Usually stages are arranged in a stack. It is the amount of force that can give a mass of 1 kilogram an acceleration of 1 meter per second per second. inertia—The tendency of objects to resist a change in their motion. thrust—The reaction force that pushes a rocket forward. stage—A part of a rocket that contains one or more engines and separates away when its fuel is used up. Its strength depends on the mass of the body. friction—A force that resists the movement of one surface over another when the two surfaces are in contact. such as Earth. or stop the motion of objects. Forces are what cause. In the strict sense.

Smart-1 31 5 .000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon. Moon. 2007. Catherine. Jedicke. N.com/science/space/article/spacecraft Key Internet search terms: Apollo Program. and Acceleration http://www. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Look up these Web sites: European Space Agency http://www.html NASA: Solar System Exploration http://solarsystem. Thimmesh.fearofphysics.cfm?Category=Spacecraft Yahoo! Kids: Spacecraft http://kids.nasa. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books. 2007.esa. Isaac Newton. Ron. NASA. Great Moments in Space Exploration.gov/multimedia/gallery.int/esaCP/SEM2S8WJD1E_index_0. 2004.: MyReportLinks. Rockets. New York: Chelsea House. Apollo 11 Rockets to First Moon Landing. Miller. Peter. rocket.com/Xva/xva.com. Berkeley Heights.yahoo.To Learn More Read these books: Green. Team Moon: How 400. Carl R.J. Velocity. 2006.html Fear of Physics: Learn about Position.

28. Davis has written books on science topics for kids for more than fifteen years. 22. 17. 26–27 Command module 25 Computers (on spacecraft) 5 Constant speed 8 Course of spacecraft 7. 9. 25. 11 Rocket engines 5. 26–27 Gravity 5. Isaac 14–15 Newtons (unit of measure) 13. 7. 8. 22–23 Newton. 17 Engines see Rocket engines European Space Agency 25. as well as earth science subjects. 28–29 Inertia 15 Jupiter (planet) 16 Liquid-fuel engines 26–27 Mass 15. 18 Smart-1 (spacecraft) 25. 27 Solid-fuel engines 26–27 Soviet Union 5. 9 Design of rocket 12 Drag 19. 29 First law of motion 14–15 Forces 12–13 Friction 18–19 Fuel for rockets 5. 23. 26–27 Saturn V rocket 13. 6–7. 24. 20 Motion 5. 6. 7 Payload 20. 14–15. 27. 20–21. Buzz 29 Apollo program 5. 10 Weight 16–17 About the Author Barbara J. 10 Speed of rockets 8 Stages of rockets 11. 22. 24 Earth (planet) 5. 13. 28. 6. 29 Armstrong. 23. 29 Speed 8–9. 21 Planning of space mission 7. 25 Third law of motion 22–23 Thrust 13. 16–17 History of Moon shots 5. 11. 29 Axis (Earth) 6 Balanced force 13 Booster rockets 11 Chemical reaction 5. 24. She has published books on ecosystems and biomes. 24. Neil 20. 7 Takeoff 9. 32 . 25 Sun 6. 19 Skateboard 4. 11. 24–25. 17. 14 Orbit 5. 25 Seatbelts 14 Second law of motion 20–21 Shape of rockets 18. 23 Two-stage rockets 10 Unbalanced force 13 Velocity 9.Index Acceleration 10–11 Air resistance see Drag Aldrin.

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