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XKCD Explains Space Travel (Using Only the Most Common Words)

Few things in life bring me more joy than the Up Goer Five. For those of you who don’t know about it, the viral illustration, created by Randall Munroe of the popular web comic xkcd and blog What If?, manages to explain the intricate mechanics of a Saturn V rocket using only the 1,000 most common words in the English language.

It’s harder to do than you might think, but in this new video, Munroe and Henry Reich of Minute Physics have taken things one (small) step (for man) further by sending the Up Goer into the cosmos – er, into the far up sky thing.

Should you want to give Up-Goer explaining your best go, you can use this handy text editor. (A brief pause while you inevitably get lost doing so – but come back to us, there’s more.)

The video comes just two week before Munroe’s book, Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, hits the stands. The squee is real, guys. The squee is real.

“It’s a big flat book full of pictures of things with lots of parts,” says Munroe in true fashion. “There are also little words that tell you what all the parts do. It will explore computer buildings, the flat rocks we live on, the things you use to steer a plane, and the little bags of water you’re made of.” That’s datacenters, tectonic plates, cockpit controls, and living cells.

If you’re like us and can’t wait to get your grubby paws on it, you can pre-order Munroe’s book on AmazonBarnes & NobleIndie Bound, and Hudson.

IMAGES:  xkcdMinute Physics/YouTube

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