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Cratering the Moon Challenge
Preliminary Design by:
Mrs. Hartum's Class
Conestoga Middle School
The Cocoa "Ciller"

student drawing of launcher & impactor


       The Cocoa "Ciller" is made out of a 250ml Erlenmeyer flask and a size seven rubber cork. The flask is the launcher and the cork is the projectile. The Cork is launched by putting vinegar and baking soda in the flask and quickly capping it. The pressure from the gas in the flask causes the cork to shoot from the flask and land several feet away. When tested the cork shot farthest when the flask was angled at 40 degrees.
          To measure the angle a straw was taped to the side of the flask and then a protractor was used to angle it correctly. If there is enough backing soda and vinegar applied the cork should travel to the place you want it to be. For our practice tests we used a pie pan filled flour with a layer of cocoa on top.

Expert Response from Jennifer Heldmann:
Excellent design!  Very good job - especially with including the full list of equipment needed to conduct the experiment, a diagram showing the experimental set-up, and a thorough description of the experiment itself.  Good job with also doing some preliminary runs to determine the optimal angle for the flask to launch the cork.  For the next round of designs, think about how you can measure the amount of ejecta produced with the cork impact.  Also always remember "safety first" when conducting your experiments!

 FirstGov  NASA

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