Spaceflight Insider

Four ways to start learning about rocket science

A Minotaur IV rocket launches. Photo Credit: Orbital ATK

Photo Credit: Orbital ATK

Marveling at the launch of a rocket lifting off from a launch pad can have you pondering how brilliant the inventors of these rockets must be. The old saying “Hey, it isn’t rocket science…” comes to mind when trying to gauge the complexity of the entire process of designing and building a successful rocket from scratch as well as using a combination of some of the most advanced forms of math and science. However, anyone with a decent IQ and the willingness to learn could potentially become a rocket scientist, or at least learn enough to understand how it works. Here are 4 ways the average person can quickly start learning about rocket science:

1. Pursue an Engineering Degree


Although the internet hosts plenty of free educational resources, some of which we’ll mention below, the best way to learn rocket science is to take the official approach that a rocket scientist would take en route to starting their career. That would typically involve earning an aerospace engineering degree, but it may start with learning another form of engineering or courses in relevant branches of math and science such as physics, chemistry, and calculus. For example, someone pursuing an online civil engineering degree would be in an ideal position to add aerospace engineering to their list of educational credentials. Plus, civil engineers frequently participate in the conception, design, and construction of aerospace facilities and related infrastructure. Thus, enrolling in an online MCE program is one of many potential first steps to getting involved in rocket science.

2. Read Books


Any time you’re studying a topic as advanced as rocket science, it should go without saying that intensive reading will be added to your list of things to do. This might seem like an obvious and worthless recommendation, but it should be noted that Elon Musk apparently taught himself rocket science using only textbooks and mentorship. However, he also previously completed the first step mentioned above, earning a bachelor’s of physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. You can easily find a list of the best books on rocket science, and after you’ve read them, you’ll know more about rocket science than most people on the planet.

3. Watch Videos


Believe it or not, sites like YouTube are actually excellent educational resources, even for learning topics as complicated rocket science.  Although you’d still need to do some math and reading to actually apply any of the knowledge used in the videos, simply watching a clip is a fast and easy introductory step that anyone can take in their spare time.

4. Take Quizzes


There’s a reason why schools and universities administer tests on a regular basis – it enhances your ability to retain the information you’re learning. Using an online quiz generator to create quick quizzes is a great way to make sure you’re holding yourself to a standard. Check out this list of the top 18 quiz makers for teachers if you’re planning on self-teaching.

Try Some DIY Mini Rocket Building


Finally, once you’ve invested enough time and effort into the educational process, you could even build yourself a DIY mini rocket setup using one of the many guides found online. Of course, you don’t want to do anything too big or hazardous, but building a small and simple rocket can be a fun learning experience for the novice aspiring rocket scientist. 

 

The preceding is a guest post and should not be construed as expressing the views of SpaceFlight Insider

 

 

Tagged:

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

Reader Comments

#5 Play Kerbal Space Program!

⚠ Commenting Rules

Post Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *