explore space through math lesson 1

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Exploring Space through Math


  • First Moon Landing 1969 (one minute 44 seconds) President Kennedys vision became reality on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moons surface. With, this one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind, Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. On January 14, 2004, 34 years after Apollo 11s historic mission, President George W. Bush announced a bold new vision for NASA and the future of space exploration. President Bushs vision for space exploration includes: completing the International Space Station, developing a new exploration vehicleand extending human presence across the solar system starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations.
  • NASAs Constellation Program represents the future and the next generation of spacecraft for human exploration. The Orion spacecraft will carry a new generation of explorers back to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. As part of the Constellation Program, Orion will succeed the space shuttle as NASAs primary vehicle for human space exploration. Over the past decade, fifteen nations have come together to design, assemble, occupy, and conduct research inside and outside of the largest and longest inhabited object to ever orbit the Earth the International Space Station (ISS). Now NASA is working with U.S. industries to develop commercial spaceflight capabilities to the ISS while building Americas new human space exploration vehicle, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Using its new space launch system, Orion will have the capability to take astronauts on exploration missions farther than any previous missions. When paired with additional propulsion and life support systems, Orion will eventually be able to take humans to Mars.
  • 7 minute youtube video
  • 1. What is the name of the new spacecraft? 2. Why do we need a new spacecraft? 3. What vehicle does the Orion design resemble? 4. Name some places where NASA intends to travel using Orion.
  • Space exploration incorporates new and existing technology to continually evolve and change. Orions improved, larger blunt-body is similar to the shape of the Apollo capsule. With an outside diameter of 5 meters, Orion will have about three times the volume of an Apollo capsule. While the Apollo capsule carried three astronauts, Orion is designed to carry four to six astronauts into space. Although NASAs intention was not to make the Orion spacecraft similar to the Apollo capsule, experts found that this design not only met the requirements but was also the most effective within the safety goals.
  • Determine the area of the largest vertical cross-section of the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). This will give you a sense of the surface area inside the Orion CEV. Keep in mind that the Orion dimensions are 140% of the Apollo capsule.
  • To get a sense of the room inside the crew module, use the model on the graph paper to estimate the vertical cross-sectional area by counting squares and multiplying the number of squares by 0.032 m.
  • Using the figure, decompose the model of Orion into familiar geometric shapes and then name the shapes. Use your tablet and the PicsArt app to use different colored highlighters for each geometric shape to show the decomposition into smaller parts. Record the shapes and their corresponding area formulas in Table 1.
  • Table 1
  • Based on your calculations in Table 1, what is the total vertical cross-sectional area of the crew module? If the actual largest vertical cross-sectional area of the crew module is 11.665 m, how far off was your estimate from the graphing method in question 1? Express your answer in terms of a percent (percent error). Round your answer to the nearest percent. If the actual largest vertical cross-sectional area of the crew module is 11.665 m, how far off was your estimate decomposition estimate? Express your answer in terms of a percent (percent error). Round your answer to the nearest percent. In your groups, discuss which estimation method was closest to the actual area. Also discuss your approach and methods used to estimate the area with one other group. Compare your answers.


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