Rocket Science Confirms Biblical Creation

Is rocket science purely secular, and should we just leave the Bible out of it? Obviously not.

by Rob Webb on February 18, 2022

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)

You might wonder, how does rocket science possibly relate to biblical creation? Doesn’t rocket science just belong in the secular realm of science? Or, more simply, rocket science doesn’t belong in the “Christian” (i.e., “spiritual”) category since the Bible doesn’t even mention rockets anywhere in the text . . .right?

It is true that we don’t explicitly find the word rocket anywhere in Scripture (obviously, since all the books of the Bible were written well before our modern rocket science era). However, there are many foundational principles established by God that are needed to even make rocket science work. In particular, things like the order and uniformity we observe (i.e., through natural law) in the universe that God established from the beginning when he created the heavens and the earth. We’ll go over these concepts in more detail, but first, let’s go over some of the basics of rocket science.

Rocket Science 101

Now, we’re going to get a bit “science-y” here, but don’t worry. This is all to show you how incredible our God is when it comes to science like this. And don’t worry, it’s not rocket science . . . oh wait, it is! But the essentials of rocket science, even the mathematical equations involved, are not hard to comprehend (maybe we should say it’s not brain surgery).

Rocket Orbit

Rocket Orbital Path. Image via NASA/MSFC.

But first, let’s go over a common misconception. Many times, people (falsely) assume that when a rocket launches from the launch pad on earth, it merely goes straight up through the air and into space and just “hangs” (stops) high enough in altitude to get into orbit. However, from basic physics, it’s easy to see that gravity would dominate that rocket and quickly pull it back down to earth (in the same manner when you throw a ball straight up into the air). So, in reality, the rocket needs to launch in a curved trajectory and fly mostly parallel to the earth’s surface and maintain a very high speed to stay in orbit (e.g., speed of ~7.8 km/s [~17,448 mph] is needed for one circular orbit at 300 km altitude, which is very fast).

So back to the basics: the three essential requirements to get a rocket into space are acceleration (get the vehicle moving fast), gravity (overcome the force [weight] that’s pulling it down), and navigation (plotting a trajectory course for the vehicle). All of these are driven by the same basic physical laws that have existed since the beginning when God created everything.

There are several other factors to also account for when launching rockets (things like aerodynamic lift/drag, stability, material strength, acoustics, etc.). Still, without getting too much into the “nitty-gritty,” rocket science mainly hinges on one key force—propulsion (i.e., thrust). And the rocket needs enough of it to overcome its own weight due to gravity. In simple terms, this is the principle demonstrated when throwing something backward to push forward (think about what happens when throwing a rock while standing still on a skateboard).



Rocket Thrust. Image via NASA/MSFC.

If you’ve ever taken a physics class, then you’ll probably recall the Third Law of Motion from Sir Isaac Newton (who, by the way, was a Christian and loved God and his Word), who basically stated that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, when you push something, it pushes back with the same amount of force. Similarly, in a rocket, the “something” being “pushed” is the product of burning (solid or liquid) fuel/propellant that is directed out the rocket’s nozzle, thus accelerating the rocket in the opposite direction.

A very simplistic example (that most people are familiar with) is when you fill up a balloon with air and then release the opening (the hole that’s pinched with your hand). This action immediately causes a pressure difference with the atmospheric pressure around the balloon surface that forces the air to quickly rush out the hole, thus accelerating the balloon forward. This is basically thrust.

Moreover, for those that want to get a little more technical (i.e., if you’re a math nerd like me), then check out the following image, which summarizes the ideal rocket equation:

Ideal Rocket Equation

The Ideal Rocket Equation. Image via NASA/MSFC.

In a nutshell, this is one of the fundamental equations in rocket science that essentially captures all the primary physics (motion) for a given rocket in a single equation. And it’s also very useful in basic rocket determination (such as determining the amount of propellant required to reach certain orbits).

The derivation and components of the ideal rocket equation are a bit complicated to explain (so I won’t put you through that!), but the bottom line here is that this equation, like any other equation involved in rocket science, really depends on mathematical principles that ultimately require consistent, predictable order and uniformity (i.e., that the future will be like the past) in the universe. In other words, the physics and mathematics involved in rocket science demonstrate that order, which only makes sense in a biblical worldview.

Order and Predictability Are the Keys to Rocket Science

Launching rockets requires a great deal of consistency (and predictability) in our universe. To make this point clearer, let’s take, for example, launching a spacecraft to rendezvous with an object in orbit (e.g., the International Space Station (ISS)). As you might have guessed, there’s quite a bit of physics and mathematics involved to predict the estimated rendezvous time (which is usually required well before launch). Don’t worry; we won’t derive all the equations involved to accomplish this, but rather just go over the process from a high level to show you a pattern.


International Space Station. Image via NASA/MSFC.

So, in this case, the rocket carrying the spacecraft must launch at a very precise and predictable moment from the pad that is based on the predicted (calculated) orbital position of the object at a given time, with respect to the rocket’s predicted (measured) location on the pad, while rotating on the earth’s surface at a predictable constant rate (e.g., ~460 m/s near the equator). I assume you can start to see the pattern here.

Plus, the predictable orbital period and speed of the object in orbit (e.g., the ISS completes one full orbit in ~90 minutes, moving at ~7.8 km/s) needs to be very well known, along with the predicted velocity of the rocket after launch, which, in turn, gets determined from the overall capabilities of the rocket, such as the predicted maximum thrust and specific impulse (Isp) of the engines/motors from each stage of the rocket. And by taking all these predictions (calculations) into account and running the numbers, the rendezvous time between the spacecraft and the orbiting object can then be accurately predicted.

Whew! If you followed along in that example, you should see that there’s a tremendous level of accuracy required in launching rockets, and it all hinges on consistent predictability. And note, that was just the flight dynamics portion, which is only one part of rocket science (the hard stuff is all the engineering involved to ensure everything works perfectly and in unison)!

Rocket Science from a Biblical Worldview

All in all, you can hopefully see that rocket science demonstrates the order in God’s design of creation. And praise God, we get to be a part of this creation, where we can make these astonishing predictions with such a great level of accuracy!

Biblically speaking, the natural laws that we rely on for rocket science are only possible because our consistent, never changing (Malachi 3:6) Triune God, being the eternal law-giver, promises to uphold all things in a uniform fashion and causes all things to exist by his will alone.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:1–3)

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16–17)

In other words, without God, rocket science (in reality, anything!) would be impossible.

God’s logic is also built into the universe. And that is why the universe consistently obeys natural laws (which, by the way, are just the various names we give to the way God upholds the universe) and is not simply random or chaotic. In addition, he has given us reliable senses (Genesis 1:26) to discover and understand these natural laws. This is what makes science observable, testable, and repeatable. In other words, without God, rocket science (in reality, anything!) would be impossible.

Rocket Science in an Atheistic Worldview?

But do these concepts also make sense in an atheistic worldview? Many secularists (as rebels against God) actually try to say that rocket science (or science in general) actually disproves the Bible. And sadly, many Christians have fallen into this trap by responding that we can simply leave the Bible out of it and just leave science to the secular realm, not realizing that this inevitably leads to elevating man’s fallible ideas (i.e., humanism) to supersede God’s infallible Word (1 Corinthians 3:19). But as we’ve seen, it’s the biblical worldview that makes sense of it at all, so it’s important that Christians get back to starting their thinking from the Bible as the only worldview that makes any form of science possible.

On the other hand, ironically, the secularists making this claim today often subscribe to the religion of materialistic atheism, which (foolishly) believes that the universe is simply “matter in motion” that’s just “bobbing” around in a chaotic universe, where everything only happens by chance (random) processes. Yet from that worldview, how are things like order and predictability, which are required for rocket science, even possible? And how are we able to recognize and understand them? Or even more fundamentally, why do they even exist? These concepts are clearly something atheism cannot support. In the end, the atheist within their worldview can never have certainty whatsoever that any level of predictability in the universe will not change (or even still exist) in the future.

Nonetheless, many atheists in the industry still hypocritically rely on these laws and constants to use rocket science and do amazing things in space, like launching astronauts or sending payloads to the ISS (and many are quite good at it). So, in reality, they are inconsistent with their own worldview and actually borrow from the biblical worldview (including logic) to even use rocket science! This ultimately proves that the “atheist” is not actually an atheist at all but is rather self-deceived and really does know God in their “heart of hearts.” But in their rebellion, they look for any possible “excuse” to take the glory for themselves instead of giving God the glory only he deserves (Romans 1:21). This is why the Psalmist said, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).


Is rocket science purely secular, and should we just leave the Bible out of it? Obviously not.

Now back to our original question, expressed in another way. Is rocket science purely secular, and should we just leave the Bible out of it? Obviously not. As briefly shown in this article, by starting our thinking with the Bible (i.e., through a biblical “lens”), we expect the universe to be organized and to consistently obey the natural laws that make rocket science possible. And it’s because the universe was spoken into existence and is consistently upheld by the power of our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ, who not only is the eternal law-giver as the Creator (John 1:3) and Sustainer (Hebrews 1:3) of our universe but is also its Redeemer (2 Corinthians 5:19).

If you haven’t confessed with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 10:9), then today is the day for salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). The call of the gospel is to repent (turn from your sins) and put your trust completely in Christ, and you will be saved from the wrath of God to come (Romans 5:9). None of us know when we’re going to die, so this is a time-sensitive message. Turn to Christ today for eternal life (John 3:16) and give the glory to Him who makes rocket science possible by the mighty Word of His power!


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