Scratch, Space Exploration Science Projects (32 results)
Space exploration is an exciting and wide-ranging area. Getting into space (and back down) is hard, involving rockets and launch vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, re-entry systems, landers and rovers, robots, and orbital mechanics, not to mention hypothetical technologies like space elevators and artificial gravity. To survive and thrive in space, we must understand many additional issues such as human performance in space, the space economy, and the science of astronomical bodies.
Why do the planets orbit the sun without flying off into space? Do they move in perfect circles or do their orbits take a different shape? And how could you possibly do a science project about any of this—you can't do an experiment with the planets! However, you can build a model of our solar system that demonstrates the concept of gravity, using balls of different sizes to represent the sun and planets. Watch this video for an excellent introduction to the model:
If you are interested in space travel and willing to do some coding, this project is for you! It uses FreeFlyer®—powerful software that allows you to simulate space travel—to explore essential mission questions.
Space travel is complex. Many factors influence the trajectory of a spacecraft. Simulations like the ones generated by FreeFlyer are powerful, as they allow you to analyze each factor in isolation, and then visualize the effects in various ways.
Once you familiarize…
Light sensors are part of many devices that we use every day. For example, they help your phone know when to automatically brighten or dim the screen based on ambient light levels. They can also be used to help solar panels track the sun, which helps the panels generate more power. Many spacecraft and planetary rovers (like the Mars rovers Sojourner, Spirit, and Opportunity) are solar-powered. In this project you will build and program your own solar-tracking robot. Optionally, you can add…
For a colony of humans to survive and thrive on Mars, they will need to make the most of what is available on Mars. We know from prior space missions what the Martian ground cover looks like. In this project, you will see if this ground cover can be transformed into strong construction material.
The first requirement for construction material is that it is strong so it does not collapse under its own weight. Because the mass of Mars is about 10 times less than the mass of Earth, its…
What keeps a model rocket on course? How can you make sure a model rocket design is stable before you launch it? Find out in this project as you learn about center of mass, center of pressure, and their effect on a rocket's stability.
How do astronomers collect stardust? They design and build satellites that are launched into space to collect particles on specially designed panels. Satellites can be sent to orbit around an object of interest: a planet, moon, or comet. In this experiment, you can build your own mini satellite and use it to collect some pretend stellar debris. If you simulate an asteroid impact, how much stellar dust will your satellite collect? Will placing your satellite at different "orbital" distances from…
Humans cannot see infrared light, but robots can! At least, they can when they use special infrared light sensors. These sensors can help robots detect nearby objects to avoid collisions and even help them avoid driving off edges. In this project you will build your own Arduino robot that uses infrared sensors to avoid driving off the edge of a table.
You've heard of gold mining and coal mining, but think outside the box...or the planet...what about asteroid mining? Scientists, engineers, and business people believe asteroid mining is feasible, and they are in the beginning stages of long-term plans to mine asteroids for valuable resources during space missions. You don't want to miss out on all the fun; in this science project, you will come up with your own scientific plan for an asteroid mining company. We will help get you started by…
The Science Buddies Bluebot Kit contains parts to build four different robots:
A motion-activated robot that uses a passive infrared (PIR) sensor
A light-tracking robot that uses photoresistors
A line-following robot that uses infrared emitter-detectors
An obstacle-avoiding robot that uses bump sensors
However, in each project, the sensors are hard-wired to control the robot's motors. This allows the robot to steer left and right based on input from two sensors, but it does not allow…
The movement of satellites is intriguing, but how do they orbit the way they do? Aerospace engineers run calculations and set up computer models to help them predict how satellites move in space, but in this astronomy science project, you will create a physical model with marbles, clay, and a cookie sheet to help you study how satellites move in space and learn from your observations.