Design a Crew Module for Artemis Astronauts
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Recommended Grades: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Design and build a crew module model that will secure two 2 cm astronaut figures during a drop test.
- The crew module must safely carry two astronauts. You must design and build a secure seat for the astronauts, without gluing or taping them in place. The astronauts should stay in their seats during each drop test.
- The crew module must fit into the container you chose. This item is simply for size restraints. The crew module must not be dropped while inside the container.
- The crew module must have one hatch that opens and closes easily. The hatch should remain shut during all drop tests.
- Your crew module design should consider mass and strength. Mass is important in space travel. The heavier the crew module, the more expensive it is to build and, ultimately, to launch. NASA is looking for a lightweight but strong crew module.
Student Materials List
Gather the following materials. If you can’t find all of them use your own creativity to think of additional building materials.
General building supplies: 1-2 paper or foam cups (8-12 ounces), 1-2 paper or foam plates, 2-3 index cards, Aluminum foil or plastic wrap (approximately 1 piece 12”x12”), Small cylindrical container (e.g., mailing tube, oatmeal canister, or coffee can), Two 2-cm plastic figurines, (e.g., minifigures). If unavailable, marshmallows or other items will work. Tape, Scissors, Tabletop digital scale (optional), Meterstick, yardstick or tape measure, Paper and pencil.
Engineering Design Process
Engineers use Engineering Design Process to solve problems. They are a series of steps that will help you come up with a solution for the engineering challenge. The image below shows how to get started with the Engineering Design.
How does this activity connect to STEM and today's Girl Day theme of Moving Around: Land, Water, Air, and Space?
This activity relates to human transport in space. NASA is working on sending humans to the surface of the moon again by 2024. Astronauts will need a crew module that can carry them to and from the moon safely. The crew module should keep the astronauts safe from:
- forces and impacts they will feel during takeoff and return splashdown in the ocean
- harmful radiation in the space
- high temperatures experienced during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere at very high speeds.
Engineers, scientists, and mathematicians with diverse expertise and skills work in teams to meet all the requirements when designing a spacecraft that is safe for humans to travel to moon and beyond.
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