This web page contains rocket facts for kids and is an excellent resource for anyone of any age looking to learn about rockets. Our goal is to provide you with accurate, up to date facts about rockets. In addition to facts about rockets, we provide additional resources to help you with your research on these launch vehicles.
The rocket facts below will help you learn about who invented the first rocket, how a rocket works, the different types of rockets, how rockets are used in war and other rocket related facts. We hope these rocket facts are interesting and help you learn more about this atmosphere breaking invention.
If any of the below rocket facts are inaccurate, please contact us and let us know.
23 Rocket Facts for Kids
- A rocket is a manmade vehicle that uses thrust from a rocket engine to travel.
- Rockets are named after the Italian word “rocchetta”, which means “bobbin” or “little spindle”.
- Some of the first rockets, which were fireworks, have been traced back to the 13th century (1200s) in Medieval China during the Song dynasty. There is anecdotal evidence of earlier being developed prior to the 13th century.
- Rockets can be used to transport humans and spacecrafts into space.
- Rockets can be used by the military to delivery ordinances (bombs) over short and very long distances.
- Rockets are propelled forward by their engine using liquid or solid propellant (fuel).
- A rocket engine doesn’t need air to operate like a jet engine, which allows a rocket engine to work in space.
- Rockets ignite their propellant and that produces hot gas that escapes out the back of the rocket as exhaust.
- Rockets are propelled forward using the exhaust from their engines.
- A rocket can reach a speed of 15,000 miles per hour in as little as eight minutes.
- A rocket cannot escape Earth’s gravity and make it into space unless it’s traveling at least 7 miles per second.
- The first person to propose the idea of using a rocket to launch a human into space was Scottish astronomer William Leitch in 1861.
- Prior to 1926, all rockets were powered by some form of gunpowder.
- The first rocket to use liquid fuel was created by Robert H. Goddard and first launched on March 16th, 1926.
- The first rocket to reach space was a Nazi Germany V-2 rocket in June 1944.
- The first rocket to be classified as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) because it could travel over 3,400 miles was the Soviet Union R-7 Semyorka missile on May 15th, 1957.
- The first rocket to launch satellite into space was the Soviet Union Sputnik 8K71PS rocket on October 4th, 1957.
- The first rocket to launch a living animal (a dog named Laika) into space was the Soviet Union Sputnik 8K71PS rocket on November 3rd, 1957.
- The first rocket to launch a spacecraft that flew by another planet in our Solar System was the Soviet Union Molniya 8K78 rocket on February 12th, 1961.
- The first rocket to launch a human into space was the Soviet Union Vostok-K 8K72K rocket on April 12th, 1961.
- The first rocket to launch a female human into space was the Soviet Union Vostok-K 8K72K rocket on June 16th, 1963.
- The first rocket to launch an unmanned spacecraft that survived its landing on a celestial body in our Solar System was the Soviet Union Molniya-M 8K78M rocket on January 31st, 1966.
- The first rocket to launch a human into space that landed on a celestial body (the Moon) in our Solar System was the United States Saturn V SA-506 on July 16th, 1969.
A picture of a V-1 Rocket (flying bomb).
A picture of a V-2 Rocket (Aggregat 4).
A picture of a U.S. Bumper 2 Rocket.
A picture of two Soviet Union rockets on the pad.
A picture of a rocket fired from a underwater via a submarine.
Credit: Ghetty Images
A picture of a SpaceX commerical rocket in the air.
Additional Resources with Rocket Facts
- How Rockets Work – Learn how rockets work on the NASA website.
- The History of Rockets – Discover the history of rockets on the MIT University website.
- Pictures of Rockets – View some cool pictures of rockets on the Flickr website.
- Rocket – Wikipedia – Explore the Wikipedia website to learn more about rockets.