Concepts Covered: Newton's Laws of Motion Kinematics Conservation of Energy and Momentum Power Aerodynamic Effects This program details the physics involved in launching a space vehicle. The Space Shuttle and Saturn V launches are dynamically examined in terms of the vehicle's thrust, changing weight, net force, acceleration, and velocity throughout the initial stages of ascent and injection into orbit. The dynamics of launching a rocket from the earth's surface is contrasted to the lift-off of the Lunar Module from the surface of the moon. The rocket engine principle is discussed in terms of Newton's Third Law of Motion. Newton's Second Law of Motion, expressed in terms of momentum, is used to find the magnitude of thrust produced by a single Space Shuttle main engine. Launch trajectories and the effect of the earth's rotation on launching a rocket into orbit are also explained.