Rockets shoot skyward with massive amounts of thrust, produced by chemical reaction or air pressure.  Scientists create the thrust force by shoving a lot of gas (either air itself, or the gas left over from the combustion of a propellant) out small exit nozzles.


For every action, there is equal and opposite reaction. If flames shoot out of the rocket downwards, the rocket itself will soar upwards.  It’s the same thing if you blow up a balloon and let it go—the air inside the balloon goes to the left, and the balloon zips off to the right (at least, initially, until the balloon neck turns into a thrust-vectored nozzle, but don’t be concerned about that just now).


A rocket has a few parts different from an airplane.  One of the main differences is the absence of wings.  Rockets utilize fins, which help steer the rocket, while airplanes use wings to generate lift.  Rocket fins are more like the rudder of an airplane than the wings.


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