The Science Quiz | What rocket science looks like

Today’s quiz is about rockets and launching them.

June 07, 2023 10:30 am | Updated 05:01 pm IST

The ISRO LVM 3 lifts off on June 5, 2017, from Sriharikota.

The ISRO LVM 3 lifts off on June 5, 2017, from Sriharikota. | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan/The Hindu

The Science Quiz appears twice a week in the daily science page. The page is available to read on all days except Saturday in the epaper.

Questions (answers at the bottom):

1. At its core, launching a rocket is based on Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion. Specify the formula that describes the second law.

2. Name the Russian scientist who created the famous ideal rocket equation, which describes how a vehicle can accelerate itself using the law of conservation of momentum.

3. To keep a rocket from spiralling out of control, its direction of movement needs to be in the direction of its ______. This is why many rockets have gimballed engines, which can be rotated in position. Fill in the blank.

4. The engine ‘Vikas’ powers the second stage of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. It uses dinitrogen tetroxide as oxidiser and UDMH as fuel. What is the chemical name of UDMH?

5. A cryogenic engine is sought after for rockets because it can combust liquid hydrogen, which has a very high ________ _______. Fill in the blanks with a term describing how efficiently the engine uses its fuel mass.


When a rocket engine operates within the atmosphere, its exhaust passes through multiple shockwaves, exposing a standing wave like that visible in the image above. What is this pattern called?


1. F = ma

2. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

3. Thrust

4. 1,1-dimethylhydrazine

5. Specific impulse

Visual: Shock diamonds

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