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Beginner's Guide to Rockets
Mach Number

Subject Area: Algebra I, Physical Science

Grade Level: 9-12

National Mathematics Standards:

  • Read written presentations of mathematics with understanding.
  • Use and value the connections between mathematics and other disciplines.
  • Represent situations that involve variable quantities with expressions and equations.

National Technology Standards:

  • Research Tools - Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research.
  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools - Routinely and efficiently use on-line information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity.


After reading an explanation from a NASA Web-based textbook, you will demonstrate your understanding of Mach numbers by using them to determine the flight characteristics of rockets..

Beginner's Guide to Rockets is a "textbook" of information prepared at NASA Glenn Research Center to help you better understand how rockets and rocket engines work. Click Index to access the list of all the slides dealing with high speed aero. Open the slide called Mach Number and read the definition of Mach number. Using the information shown at Mach Number Activity and additional information you will access from the web site , complete the problems designed to demonstrate your ability to solve Mach number equations.


You, or you and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the accuracy or feasibility of your answers.


You will demonstrate the ability to use information found on the World Wide Web and apply it to algebraic expressions.

Submitted by : Corrine Rawlin, Wellington High School, Wellington, Ohio.

Related Sites:
Rocket Index
Rocket Home
Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Home


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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