A Roundabout Way to Mars
Aerospace engineers must be creative when planning the best routes and methods to send a spacecraft from Earth to another planet since space travel is never a direct linear path, but involves transfers between circular orbits. Engineers apply their understanding of math, especially geometry, to determine the most efficient interplanetary trajectories, and thus minimize costs by reducing the need for supplies and fuel as much as possible. They design techniques that take advantage of gravity and the behavior of forces in space.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
Area of Science
orbits transfers, Hohmann transfers, space travel, geometry
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