Ask an Explainer


What is faster, a supersonic aircraft or a rocket?


Rockets definitely fly faster than jets. A supersonic airplane can fly faster than the speed of sound (1,236 kmh or 768 mph). The SR-71 Blackbird holds the record for fastest jet, flying at 3,418 kmh (2,124 mph). The Space Shuttle, though, accelerates to 29,000 kmh! That's 18,000 miles per hour! Rockets have to reach that speed to escape Earth's gravitational pull to get to space. We call that speed escape velocity.  

Categories: Propulsion