Why cannot airplanes take us to space?« Back to Questions List

In order to understand why airplanes cannot fly directly into space, we need to know how it works. The most important part of an airplane that helps it fly is the wing. The wing is so shaped and tilted that the air moving on the top of wing travels faster than the air moving under the wings. So the faster-moving air moving over the wing exerts less pressure on it than the slower air moving underneath the wing. Resulting in an upward push, the air under the wings holds the airplane.




Even large airplanes can fly at an altitude of 40,000 feet (7.5 miles). Above which, the air is too thin to hold the plane. The air gets thinner and thinner as we go up. At one point, air becomes so thin that there is hardly any air at all (vacuum).


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Thus we see that air is important which aides the movement of airplanes. The outer space does not possess any air and rockets prove to be useful in exploring them. Rockets do not need outside air to lift them up as planes do instead they follow Newton’s third law (Every action has an equal and opposite reaction). They shoot out gases at such a high speed that the reaction causes the rocket to move up and away from earth.


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