On your last fun Summer afternoon, did you go out to a big field and launch off a model rocket?
Did you know that an average model rocket can go about 670 feet per second? That’s about 456 miles per hour or about 7 times faster than your car drives on a highway!
Still, many model rockets travel about half the speed of a jet plane (which travel about 1,100 feet per second) and most model rockets are not nearly fast enough to escape the Earth’s atmosphere and reach space.
To reach space, a model rocket would need to reach a velocity of at least 4.9 miles per second in order to orbit the Earth, and almost double that – 7 miles per second to escape Earth’s gravity entirely (to head out into space).
In 2004, the GoFast Rocket reached an altitude of 72 miles above the Earth by going 3,780 miles per hour. Check out this video from the Smithsonian Channel to see what was involved (and how big the rocket was!)