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Six Minutes of Terror

Help your class understand the design challenges when trying to land a remote spacecraft on a planet. Class members examine the provided information to understand how each component of a spacecraft is designed in order to safely land a rover. The pupils find out that engineers can use everyday materials and technologies to accomplish this amazing feat. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Divide the class into groups to research different ways to transfer some of the kinetic energy of the spacecraft into something else to slow it down
  • Have the class watch the Entry, Descent, and Landing Video and brainstorm ways they would overcome the challenges
Classroom Considerations

  • The class should have basic knowledge about Mars and its atmosphere
  • 10th in a 13-part series

  • Includes links to several websites to use as extension activities or references
  • Includes a vocabulary list and definitions used in the lesson

  • Instructional plan is unclear
Included Materials

  • Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary