Web Comic xkcd Explains How a Saturn V Rocket Works

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Nov. 14 2012 3:13 PM

xkcd Explains How to Go to Space in Simple Language

If you're not reading the brilliant web comic xkcd, then a) what's wrong with you? and 2) seriously, go read it. Written by Randall Munroe, it's arguably the geekiest and most scientifically literate comic on the 'net. The simple stick figures and drawings he uses belie a fiercely intellectual comic that will poke at your brain.

His latest is a great example of this: a blueprint-style diagram of a Saturn V rocket using very simple terms ... very simple.

xkcd web comic with a drawing of a Saturn V rocket very simply explained

Image credit: xkcd/Randall Munroe

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Click the image to enlaunchenate and see the whole thing. It's great. I have a lot of rocket scientist friends and they're loving it, as do I. Make sure you hover your mouse over the comic for a moment to see the pop-up alt-text.

xkcd web comic of an astronomer who looks suspiciously like your host blogger

One thing I really like about Randall is his unabashed love of science, math, logic, and programming, and how he incorporates them into his comics. And of course my love for his work has nothing at all to do with his using an astronomer in one of his comics a while ago who may look vaguely familiar.

You should also check out his new series, "what if?" where he takes a simple question and explores it to its logical conclusion ... no matter how far he has to go.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death from the Skies! Follow him on Twitter.