How many times have you said “this isn’t rocket science?” Well in this instance, it actually is! Using all of the components available to use on launch vehicles, NASA’s Rocket Science 101 app guides you through building a rocket that you can then send into virtual orbit.
Developed by NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP), Rocket Science 101 is equal parts educational tool and entertainment for the space nut in all of us.
This app is educational every step of the way. If you just want to have fun, you can easily piece together a launch vehicle with very little effort but there are also challenges and rocket scientist modes that take the app more than “one small step” forward. Learn about specific missions including their objectives along with the weight of the spacecraft that accomplished them, their orbit and the date they were launched.
Be sure you pay attention while you learn those things, because you are going to need to choose a rocket that will be able to accomplish that mission! If you choose the wrong one, the app will let you know and you can try again –just keep your eyes on the on-screen dials that tell you whether the one you are looking at has the appropriate weight, thrust and size required.
What I liked: When you launch your newly created craft, and the countdown completes you learn at what altitude and time things like the solid rocket motors would jettison as well as when the first stage separation and second stage ignition and payload firing separation occur.
What I didn’t like: There are a lot of opportunities to learn within this app by reading text on the screen, much of which is written in a lighter brown color against a navy blue background which can be difficult to see at times, particularly if you are using your iPad somewhere without a lot of light.
To buy or not to buy: If you never missed watching a shuttle launch or you are fascinated by the space program, this app is absolutely fantastic and a steal for the price.
- App Name: Rocket Science 101
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Education
- Developer: NASA
- Price: Free