Rocket Science 101 Course Syllabus

Rocket Science 101
Course Syllabus
Daniel Taylor Hastings
                Aerospace Engineering
                Iowa State University

  • Trigonometry, minimum knowledge of calculus, basic physics
  • Rocket Propulsion Elements (7th edition) Sutton and Biblarz
  • Handbook of Model Rocketry (7th edition) Stine and Stine
  • Students grade themselves. There will be several quizzes and one exam, weighted by:
  • Quizzes: 25%
  • Semester project 25%
  • Final Exam 50%


1.       Definition of a rocket
2.       Math background
3.       Physics background
4.       Chemistry/thermodynamics background
5.       Basic nozzle theory
6.       Forces on a rocket
7.       Aerodynamic drag
8.       Flight stability
9.       Thrust and weight
10.   Analysis of flight
11.  Model rocketry
12.   Semester project

Remember:  There is nothing magical about rocket science. It is just a sampling of subjects such as physics, chemistry and math, all applied to the goal of flying through space. You don’t have to be a G-whiz to become a rocket scientist, despite the popular phrase “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to .” It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to study math, science and engineering and love space travel.

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