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Jetpack Rocket Science Explained

by Kenny Hoeschen

The science blog, Veritasium, explains the physics behind rockets using jetpacks. Essentially, the jetpack works based on Newton’s 3rd Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Although he fails to demonstrate the principle using a skateboard and fire extinguisher, he goes on to explain how acceleration affects the human body; particularly in astronauts and fighter pilots. The water jetpack he uses generates thrust equivalent to about 150 fire extinguishers. We’re glad to hear him explain how a rocket can work in a vacuum, with no air to “push off” of, which always seems puzzling to us non-physicists.

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