Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 5 - Think and Explain: 57

Answer

Action: rocket produces exhaust gases and expels/pushes them backward. Reaction: exhaust gases push rocket forward. The newspaper writer apparently didn’t realize that Newton's third law does not require anything for the gases to "push against". Or, perhaps the writer confused the rocket with a helicopter, which pushes air downward to rise upward.
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