Grade 5-8| 9-11 (45 min) Classes
Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing, crew-rated suborbital launch vehicle that is being developed as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. Blue Origin is switching propulsion systems to solid propellant. Students must work together to determine which engine size is the best choice thinking about altitude, velocity, and acceleration the type of payload that will be launched.
Mission Bravo Oscar is complete when the following criteria are met:
- Appropriate personnel are identified, hired, and work effectively together.
- The mission launch is captured in a mission patch, website, video, news article, and social media.
- A New Shepard rocket is safely built, transported, launched, and recovered after testing 3 engine types in an appropriate time frame.
Targeted Performance Expectation(s):
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Common Core: ELA
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening
Common Core: Math
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.MD.B.4 and CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.MD.B.2
Represent and interpret data.
Data Literacy Objectives
- Identify different types of data (qualitative and quantitative)
- Create data visualizations
- Identify patterns in data
What is Blue Origin?
Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000 with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space for the benefit of Earth and to find new energy and material resources and move industries that stress Earth into space. The logo is the symbol of the perfection of flight and represents freedom, exploration, mobility, and progress. The Blue Origin motto is Gradatim Ferociter or “Step by Step Ferociously”.
Launch, Land, Repeat
Blue Origin is working to develop partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost and serve the needs of all civil, commercial and defense customers. They build reusable rockets – that decrease cost and waste. In fact, 99% of New Shepard’s dry mass is reused, including the booster, capsule, ring fin, engine, landing gear, and parachutes. The rockets’ fuel is highly efficient and clean liquid oxygen and hydrogen. During flight, the only byproduct of New Shepard’s engine combustion is water vapor with no carbon emissions. The ability to launch, land and repeat is largely based on the ability of the rocket to take off and land vertically.
Blue Origin is dedicated to safety, protection of our Earth and research and development for schools, scientists/researchers and businesses. There is an ability to allow research both inside and outside of the capsule.
What is it Like to Fly?
The flight lasts 11 minutes during which time passengers travel over 3x the speed of sound and pass the Kármán Line at 100 km (62 mi). The passengers experience weightlessness for several minutes and witness life-changing views of Earth before descending gently under parachutes.
Vehicles of Blue Origin
New Shepard: Named after Alan Shepard, the first man in space.
- Crew Capsule: The crew capsule holds six passengers and none of them are the pilot- it is completely autonomous
- Ring and Wedge fins: Stabilize the rocket and decrease fuel use
- Drag brakes: reduce the rocket’s speed during descent
- Engine: This is used to propel the rocket to space and slow it down for landing
- Alt fins: Stabilize the rocket during flight and steer it to the launch pad.
- Landing gear – This is a very unique feature since most rockets do not have a vertical landing.
- The first stage of the rocket flies back to Earth and lands nearly 1,000 km downrange on a moving ship
- The second stage engines ignite and the 7-meter fairing separates.
- The mission is complete when the payload is delivered safely to orbit.
Human Landing System:
- NASA’s Artemis Program has a bold challenge to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon
- Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper will work together to develop a Human Landing System for Artemis
- This flexible lander will deliver a wide variety of payloads to the lunar surface.
- Its capability to provide precise and soft landings will enable a sustained human presence on the Moon.
Who is Alan Shepard?
Alan Shepard was an American astronaut, naval aviator, test pilot, and businessman. Born in New Hampshire in 1923, Shepard was interested in flight at a young age, often working odd jobs in exchange for flying lessons.
Shepard passed the entrance exam for the US Naval Academy, when he was only 16 and but had to wait two years before he could enroll. While he was at the Academy, he learned to sail- a 90-foot schooner and later served aboard the USS Cogswell during World War II. After the war, Shepard began his pilot training. It wasn’t easy and it took him a lot of practice before he earned his naval aviator wings.
Then, in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite. Americans were worried – was the United States not as technologically advanced as we thought? President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA and the Space Race officially began.
Project Mercury was NASA’s first manned mission, running from 1958 -1963. Its mission was to launch a man into space and return him safely. Seven former navy pilots were dubbed the Mercury 7 and became the first group of astronauts. Alan Shepard was part of this group. All of the astronauts were under 40, had at least a bachelor’s degree and were 5’10” or less (so they could fit in the capsule).
The Russians continued to get further ahead with their launch of the first dog in space (November 1957) and the first human in space (April 1961). Finally, the US was ready, and Alan Shepard was chosen. On May 5, 1961, Shepard became the first American in space. His Mercury spacecraft was named Freedom 7.
Ten years later, after some medical setbacks, Shepard flew again on Apollo 14. This time, he landed on the Moon, becoming the fifth person to walk on the Moon. Shepard was awarded many honors before he died in 1998 and is now honored again with Blue Origin’s New Shepard, a reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.
Camera or cell phone
- Fine Sandpaper
- Medium CA Glue
- Yellow Glue
- Wax Paper
- Hobby Knife
- Masking Tape
- Clear Coat (optional)
- White Paint
- Sand Block
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