Ask a Rocket Scientist

Have you ever wondered what an aileron does or what a winglet is? Do you wish you knew more about the history of aviation? Have you heard the term "transonic" and wondered what it meant? Do you wonder how a rocket engine works? Are you curious about why different planes look the way they do?

The field of aviation is full of confusing technical jargon, complex design tradeoffs, and a world of other mysteries. We here at would like to help. Each week, our staff of "rocket scientists" chooses a question or two, as asked by our visitors, to be answered on this site. Questions about aircraft, spacecraft, or any other aspect of aerospace engineering can be submitted here.

Question of the Week:

Our staff is currently unavailable to answer questions due to work or family commitments. We hope to return by early September.

Recent Questions:

I heard a big plane hit the Empire State Building in World War II. Why didn't the skyscraper collapse like the World Trade Center did?

How can I become a commercial pilot? What are the educational costs and job opportunities? What is the career path to becoming an airline transport pilot? How long does it take and what ratings do you need? What is the process of pilot training and what skills are tested? What qualifications are needed to become an airline pilot? Will majoring in aerospace engineering in college help me become a pilot?

Do other planets have weather like Earth? Do they have storms, rain, hurricanes, lightning, or snow? Does Mercury or the Moon have an atmosphere? Is there wind on the Moon?

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