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Why can spacecraft fly faster than the fastest jet fighters on Earth?
The F-15 Eagle can travel at 3,017 km/h (1,875 mph), whereas the Saturn V rocket reached speeds of 9,919 km/h (6,164 mph) while still in Earth’s atmosphere (at an altitude of 68 km). However, the Saturn V needed 521,400 gallons of fuel to reach that speed, and the F-15 Eagle’s fuel tank only holds about 890 gallons of fuel. When the Saturn V was taking off, the pilots didn’t need as much control of the rocket compared to a fighter jet pilot. Fighter jet pilots need a lot more control because a fighter jet needs to be agile in order to do its job. If a fighter jet was travelling as fast as a rocket, it would take a really long time to turn.