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Family Astronomy Night, Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 7 PM EST – VIRTUAL EVENT

July 7, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

Image of Apollo 4 Launch

A Brief History of Rockets

What do the Apollo missions, the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, every planetary mission, and most of the world’s nuclear deterrent forces have in common?  They all depend on rockets!  But what, exactly, is a rocket?  How does it differ from supersonic or hypersonic travel?  Who invented the rocket?  Are there different kinds of rockets?  Why do some have multiple “stages”?  How were rockets first used?  When was the first manned rocket, or the first mission to other planets?  Speaking of planets—what are the planets and constellations doing in our skies in July?  Did you see Midland’s partial solar eclipse last month?  Join us via Zoom to learn more!

Please register to receive the Zoom login. You may register up to the presentation start time or even during the meeting to join us. https://msu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Y9_hg1yAQzKa9GnGMEzPUQ

Adults and families with school-age and older children are invited to join us virtually for a presentation focused on rockets.  We will describe the invention and early development of rockets, along with how they were typically used.  We will explain the physics of rockets—meaning, how they work.  This will include discussions on propulsion, steering, and trajectory.  We will also detail some of the chemistry involved in rockets and how fuels are chosen.  We will follow the great advances in rocket technology during the 20th century, culminating in the development of the “modern” rocket.  Finally, we will finish with a brief update on the latest news from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe—which, of course, was launched with a rocket.

And, as always, we will show you how to find the planets and other cool things that are in the sky this month and into early August.  Have you noticed that the Summer Triangle has reappeared in the eastern sky?  Have you learned how to find other seasonal stars and constellations, like Polaris (the north star) in the little dipper, Arcturus in Boötes, and Antares in Scorpius?  Do you know where to find scaly things in the sky, like Draco the dragon and Serpens the snake?  Have you seen Venus rising higher and brighter in the evening sky after sunset, while Mars gets fainter and lower?   Have you caught Saturn rising in the east after twilight, with Jupiter not far behind?  We will help you find all of these things for yourself.

Please join our mailing list to receive notices about upcoming Astronomy Night presentations and other events at MSU St. Andrews.

Attention students: MSU St. Andrews participates in the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Passport program. You may attend an event or workshop and log it as a STEM experience on your passport!

Image credit: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/apollo_4_launch_s67-50433.jpg

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodation for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting (517) 432-4499 by Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Programming is made possible through the support of several local organizations: the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundationthe Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundationthe Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.


MSU St. Andrews
(989) 374-9900