Space Video of the Day - 080621

All of the mathematics involved in space flight can be reduced to a few relatively simple equations. One of these is the Rocket Equation. For a multistage rocket, a rough approximation of the rocket equation is that as the payload gets heavier by a little bit, the rocket itself must get bigger by a lot. Therefore, it makes sense to have the payload be as small as possible, in order to make the rocket as small (and inexpensive) as possible. What if we applied that idea to the size of the astronaut at the top of the rocket? With a smaller astronaut, and matching smaller capsule, a smaller rocket is needed to get the astronaut to space than would be required for a larger astronaut. Today's space video of the day is the first episode of Rocket Girls, which uses this idea as a justification for making teenage Japanese girls into astronauts. The show actually manages to get most of the science right, and teaches the viewer about such things as the rocket equation, transfer orbits, Max Q, mechanical counterpressure spacesuits, and other rocket science concepts, while also managing to be quite entertaining.

Space Video of the Day Archive

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