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Cratering the Moon Challenge
Final Design by:

Final Design
Ms. Schuster's Class
Sells Middle School
Clarissa and Cara
“We Make the World Go Round”

Original Design: Modification 1: We added anEarth Ball. This will create the most ejecta and cover more surface area as well as go deep.

original student design
student modification

Modification 2: At first, we thought that we would add spring hinges to the propellers so that they would snap out once launched and cause the impactor to spin. Then, we decided that this would not work as well as rifling

student modification as describe in text

Modification 3: The removal of the propellers.

Modification 4: We changed the Earth ball to a lacrosse for more weight. We will also test a tennis ball. The screw was then put into both balls.

Modification 5: We were planning to launch the impactor through a PVC pipe through rifling. We would use copper wire twisted through the inside of the PVC pipe to create a spinning motion. The lacrosse would cause friction because of its rubbery surface.

Modification 6: We decided to make a sabot out of foam sealant so that we could get a rifling affect without the friction.

Modification 7: We cut the sabot in half so that it would fall off once the impactor came out of the PVC pipe. This way, the impactor would continue spinning unimpaired.

progressive modifications as in text continued as per text

Modification 8: After launching, we found that the impactor stuck to the sabot, so we put fabric on the inside of the sabot to make it less sticky.

Modification 9: We used a leaf blower as the force that propels the impactor.

*We recommend launching the impactor from an angle of 15 degrees. This angle will give it the most opportunity to spin. However, we spent most of our time planning the shape of the impactor and the method of launch rather than the angle.

We also talked to a returned soldier from Iraq. He suggested that we could use a potato launcher because it would give us more power to launch. He also said that, instead of using a sabot, we could cut two niches on the sides of the ball to catch on the wire and spin. However, we opted not to do this because using a potato launcher would be too dangerous. We are considering using a less hazardous air powered potato launcher.


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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: October 2007
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