Make an Astronaut Lander
Landing on the Moon and Mars is tricky. A lander headed to the Moon can go as fast as 24,816 miles (39,937 kilometers) per hour. Those on their way to Mars might go up to 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) per hour. To land gently, these spacecraft need to slow down before touching the surface! And if there are astronauts on board, the lander needs to keep them safe, too.
In this challenge, use what you know and what you can investigate about gravity, motion, forces and a target of your choosing (the Moon, Mars or beyond!) to design and build a lander that will protect two "astronauts" when they touch down. Just as engineers had to develop solutions for landing different kinds of vehicles on the Moon and Mars, you will follow the engineering design process to design and build a shock-absorbing system out of simple materials; and improve your design based on the results of your test landings.
Watch the Tutorial
See below for materials and step-by-step instructions. For more video tutorials and activities like this one, visit Learning Space.
Watch en Español: Seleccione subtítulos en Español bajo el ícono de configuración.