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Challenge 7:
Parachuting onto Mars

Because spacecraft that land on the surface of Mars travel at extremely high speeds, they need some sort of drag device to slow them down to prevent them from crashing into the planet and becoming damaged. As missions increase in complexity, landers and rovers become heavier and require even more effective drag devices. Engineers must work within the limits (or constraints) of mass, weight, and space on a rocket to successfully accomplish the mission. Students will work in teams to design and construct a drag device that will slow down the team-built cargo bay when it is dropped from a consistent height.

Develop a drag device to slow a spacecraft for entry, descent, and landing.
Grade Level:
Time Required:
Approximately 12 – 20 Hours

Introductory Video for Students

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