As landing engineers in Boeing’s Beyond Earth division, students are challenged with creating a landing system for the world’s first crewed Martian-bound spacecraft. Students will explore the various factors that affect a Mars landing, including spacecraft speed, atmospheric pressure, and planetary surface dust. After creating a model of their design, students will simulate testing as they consider how their design would fare in deep space and how they may be able to optimize it.
Boeing and Discovery Education have launched FUTURE U. to inspire and equip the next generation of STEM professionals in aerospace. FUTURE U. offers hands-on learning experiences to help students in grades 6–12 embrace their potential to make an impact and innovate for the future.
Objectives: Students will be able to:
- Research and explain the factors and challenges that affect a Mars landing.
- Design and create a spacecraft prototype that takes these factors into consideration.
- Analyze the results of their prototype testing and develop a plan for optimization.
This lesson focuses on:
Engineering Design Process
- Defining the Problem
- Designing Solutions
- Refine or Improve
21st Century Skills
- Critical Thinking