Spaceships and the idea of flying into space has long captured the imagination of children everywhere. In in today's overstimulated world, the idea of a rocket-fuel burning ship barreling into outer space at incredible speeds, breaking through the Earth's atmosphere and floating into space is inspiring. If you're a parent or teacher looking to spark your kid's interest in space, rockets, flying, planes, or other fun, hands-on STEM topics, a great place to start is with the coolest aspect of the particular field. In this case, let's take a look at some of history's coolest spaceships - if you see something that you think is cool, please share it with your child or student!
From the original Saturn V rocket that took man to the moon in 1969, to spaceships designed by famous inventors and scientists like Robert Goddard, Werner Von Braun and Elon Musk. These spaceships have been a source of inspiration for millions of people over the years. The first rockets were primitive designs compared to today's spaceships, but they still hold an important place in history and can serve as a great example for kids of what hard work and creativity can achieve. Here is a list of some spaceships from history that are sure to get your kids interested in space exploration:
The Saturn V
Developed by NASA during the 1960s, The Saturn V was the first spaceship ever launched into outer space on July 16th, 1969. It was used to launch the Apollo 11 mission, and gave mankind its first view of the far side of the moon.
The Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle first flew in 1981 and made 135 trips into space before it was retired in 2011. A marvel of engineering, this spaceship could be used as a reusable spacecraft and transport astronauts safely back to Earth after their missions.
Robert Goddard's Rocket
Considered by many to be the father of modern rocketry, Goddard's homemade rockets were some of the earliest spaceships designed and tested during his lifetime (1882-1945). His experiments laid the groundwork for later spaceships like Saturn V and the Space Shuttle Program.
Werner von Braun's V-2 Rocket
The Werner von Braun's V-2 Rocket was designed and built by the infamous German engineer Werner von Braun during World War II. It was the first long-range ballistic missile ever developed, and its design had a major influence on modern spaceships.
The first privately funded spaceships to reach space, SpaceShipOne was designed by renowned engineer Burt Rutan and flew three times into suborbital space in 2004. It showed that private individuals could build spaceships capable of reaching outer space.
Fun facts about spaceships
Looking for more cool stuff about spaceships? Here are some fun facts that kids will enjoy:
In the early days of space exploration, spaceships were named after gods and goddesses from Greek mythology.
The spaceships used in the Apollo missions traveled faster than a speeding bullet! They could reach speeds of up to 24,500 miles per hour!
SpaceX's Dragon capsule is designed to carry up to seven astronauts at a time into space.
The Soviet Union launched the first ever unmanned spaceships into orbit around Earth on October 4th, 1957–the famous Sputnik 1 satellite.
Spaceships are usually made out of lightweight materials like aluminum or titanium alloys, which help them stay lightweight as they travel through space.
Additionally, check out these kid-friendly resources: