Space Exploration

  1. Tell the purpose of space exploration including:
    1. historical reason,
    2. immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge,
    3. Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products.
  2. Tell about main steps in humanity's movement into space and tell about the contributions of these individuals: Jules Verne, K.E. Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, Hermann Oberth, and Werner von Braun.
  3. Build, launch, and recover a model rocket.* Make a second launch to accomplish a specific objective. (Rocket must be built to meet the safety code of the National Association of Rocketry.) Identify and explain the following rocket parts:
    1. Body tube
    2. Engine mount
    3. Fins
    4. Igniter
    5. Launch lug
    6. Nose cone
    7. Payload
    8. Recovery system
    9. Rocket engine
  4. Discuss and demonstrate each of the following:
    1. The law of action-reaction.
    2. How rocket engines work
    3. How satellites stay in orbit
    4. How satellite pictures of the Earth and pictures of other planets are made and transmitted.
  5. Discuss what has been learned about the Moon and planets by manned and unmanned spacecraft exploration and the possible benefits of new knowledge. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Construct a data table of recent information about the planets. For each planet, give important facts, including distance from the sun, period of revolution, rotation, number of moons, etc.
    2. Make a scrapbook of magazine photographs and news clippings about planetary research.
    3. Design a spacecraft that will be sent on a mission to another planet to take samples of its surface and return them to Earth/ Name the planet your spacecraft will visit; and, in your design, show how your spacecraft will work and cope with the environment of that plant.
  6. Describe the purpose and operation of the space shuttle. Discuss the following:
    1. Main components
    2. Typical mission profile
    3. Payloads
  7. Design an Earth-orbiting space station. Make drawings or a model of your station. Within your design, consider and plan the following:
    1. Source of energy
    2. How it will be constructed
    3. Life-support systems
    4. Purpose and function
  8. Discuss with your counselor two possible careers in space exploration.

* If local laws prohibit the launching of model rockets, do the following activity: Make a model of a NASA rocket. Explain the functions of the parts. Give the history of the rocket.

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