The future may reveal our past and set our forward path, so getting to Mars is mission critical.
Students must figure out how we will get to Mars by making connections to the Space Launch System rocket that NASA is currently working on.
Students design and build their 2-stage Load Star rocket from various pieces available at the “Acquisition Office” (AO). Each piece is priced differently so they must keep track of their $600,000,000 budget for the week. More important pieces cost more money.
The right science, math, engineering and technology help the students make connections to heat shield design that is critical for entering the Martian atmosphere. Students review what materials are good conductors and insulators of heat energy.
Students design and build their capsules with a marshmallow astronaut and a thermocouple sensor before the capsule is sealed up and placed in the liquid nitrogen for a 2 min test. This activity connects to the extremely cold environment of Space and Mars as engineers determine what materials work best to protect the astronauts.
Analyzing their data after the burn to determine what worked and what didn’t on their Surface Pro computers.
Students conduct research on various aspects of what would be needed for a livable habitat for an astronaut crew of 6 for two years. This includes water systems, life support systems, communication, transportation, radiation, agriculture, physical activity, living quarters, etc.