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What makes rockets lift off and how do they lift off?

See the previous question (the answer is "thrust"). But where does the thrust come from? Rocket engines work by sending out very hot exhaust, which is going very fast in the direction opposite to the direction the rocket is going to move. By sending this stuff out, the rocket gives itself an impetus in the forward direction - just imagine what happens if you are on a skateboard and you throw a basketball in one direction - you are going to move the other way. The same thing happens with a rocket (although it throws out these hot gases instead of basketballs).

Arthur Smith

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