Space Shuttle Ascent: Altitude vs. Time

How long did it take to get to that altitude? Using a Google Earth file, groups explore a space shuttle launch. Using a calculator, groups determine the function that models the altitude/time data from an actual launch. With the model in place, groups determine expected altitudes for given times. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Discuss and explore the differences between scatter plots that can be modeled with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions
  • Have class investigate whether the model would work past the time given
Classroom Considerations

  • The ascent trajectory tour requires access to Google Earth
Pros

  • The appendix includes instructions on how to run the ascent trajectory tour
  • Uses actual data instead of hypothetical data
Cons

  • None
Common Core