Published on January 16, 2008
Rendezvous with a Comet: Rendezvous with a Comet Challenger Learning Center Colorado Springs Comet Scenario: Comet Scenario Students become a team of scientists and engineers acting as astronauts and mission specialists on a daring exploration of comets. Their goal will be to successfully plot a rendezvous course with a comet, launch a probe, and collect scientific data on the object. Why Study Comets?: Why Study Comets? Comets are the oldest most primitive objects in the solar system. They are remnants of a nebula that formed our solar system. Studying comets may help to gather information on the beginning of our solar system. Famous Comets: Famous Comets Comet Hale-Bopp Comet Halley Comet West Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Comet Tempel-Tuttle Comet Encke Comet Wild 2 Stardust Mission: Stardust Mission Stardust was launched in February 1999 to rendezvous with comet Wild 2 in January 2004. The spacecraft successfully collected cometary dust using an aerogel grid. The return capsule, with the samples, will land in the desert of Utah in January of 2006. (Your simulated mission will closely parallel the actual Stardust Mission.) Crew Manifest: Crew Manifest The following are positions available to fly the mission: Communications Data Navigation Medical Probe Remote Life Support Isolation Media Communications Officer: Communications Officer Maintains the communication link between Mission Control and Space Station. Uses correct protocol to communicate effectively. Controls cameras onboard Space Station. Recommended Attributes Good verbal skills Remains calm under pressure Multi-task oriented Data: Data Establishes printed communication between Mission Control and the Space Station by sending messages via the computer. Accesses video images for other team members Maintains current status of individual stations. Recommended Attributes Excellent keyboarding skills Accurate and quick typist Navigation: Navigation Clears starfields in order to successfully rendezvous with comet Encke. Triangulates the position of the comet. Launches particle detectors to determine the most active part of the comet in order to gather as much data as possible. Recommended Attributes Strong in math and science Works well on a team Excellent critical thinking skills Remote: Remote Compares meteoroid and plant samples inside a glove box. Collects and analyzes data using mass, volume, density and chromatography. Uses robotic arms to collect and replace sample meteoroids and plants. Recommended Attributes Interested in geology Follows directions easily and works carefully Research and analyzing skills are a must Isolation: Isolation Conducts research and data analysis of radioactivity, meteoroids, and hazardous materials. Isolates hazardous materials in container. Recommended Attributes Enjoys working with robots and robotics Works well under pressure Is a patient worker Medical: Medical Responsible for monitoring and analyzing the physical condition of the crew. Performs medical tests on astronaut teammates. Minimizes physical changes that occur in microgravity. Recommended Attributes Science oriented Enjoys research and analyzing data Good organizational and record keeping skills Life Support: Life Support Monitors the Space Station environment by accurately reading instrument gauges to ensure the safety of the flight crew. Stays calm in emergency situations in order to maintain a safe spacecraft environment. Recommended Attributes Science oriented Works diligently and carefully Enjoys research and analyzing data Probe: Probe Uses effective communication between team members in order to build a probe within a specified time constraint. Responsible for assembly, deployment and monitoring probe. Recommended Attributes Good problem solver Excellent communication skills Works well with others Media: Media Uses effective communication skills to ask questions of the crew for documenting purposes Responsible for capturing images of the crew again for documentation of the mission. Recommended Attributes: Good communication skills Enjoys writing and editing materials Successful Crews: Successful Crews Use consensus in making decisions. Communicate clearly and patiently. Read and follow directions in mission manuals and task cards. Fill out data logs completely. Utilize effective team work. Slide18: Inspiring… Exploring… Learning… It’s Your Mission!