How to explain rocket science using only the 1,000 most common English words

xkcd up goer five

Everything that can be explained, can be explained simply.

Is that really true?!  It’s a nice hypothesis and goal for us all.

Randall Munroe, the comic genius behind xkcd comics (and a former rocket scientist!), has explained the Saturn V rocket in an illustration that uses only the most 1,000 common words in the English language.  It is the Up Goer Five.  If you still have questions about how the rocket that took astronauts to the moon worked, enjoy getting (nearly) all of your questions answered here:

xkcd up goer five

Another thanks and credit to author and marketing guru Seth Godin for telling us about this illustration through his blog.

Are you wondering how to explain rocket science in everyday language? Now you’ve got an entertaining example to learn from!

P.S. Want to see an actual Saturn V rocket?  Visit the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, like I did here with my family.  Pictures of their Up Goer Five (and me) are in my trip report here.


About Brett Rocket Scientist

Brett creates artful work in engineering, ideas, and innovation. In addition to 2 degrees, 3 patents, and over 15 years experience in aerospace engineering, he is the author of several books to foster STEM careers. He volunteers his time and skills as an officer with professional societies.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.