Pioneer 10 Paper Model Activity
To complete the following unit,
This is not a simple punch and tab model. It will require some patience and skill. The reward is a nice representation for classroom use of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft which was the first manmade object to leave the solar system. Pioneer 10 extended man's senses farther than we are ever likely to duplicate for decades to come. It is a landmark in space exploration. With preparation in the classroom this project can probably be completed in 2/3 class periods. The original model took less than one day to design and fabricate and the second model about 3 hours to complete. With care, you will have a model which will acquaint your classes of one of the most successful space missions of all time. A mission which is still rewriting the textbooks books for all time!
Parts which are meant to be folded will work extremely well if time is taken to carefully "score" the fold line. To do this take a sharp hobby knife and LIGHTLY cut along the line. A ruler is helpful to make sure that this is a straight line. If done correctly, the fold will be sharp and crisp - and will be easy to make. Have students practice on a sample.
When you bend the folds it is suggested that you place a ruler, or else do the bending along a sharp table edge, so that you get a crisp fold. It is imporant to have corners which are sharp, crisp, and clean.
Before any part is glued Make Sure That it Fits! If it needs to be trimmed, or cuts need to made in the part - it is best to do it before it is all assembled! Take a look at the Photo Pages which show images of the assembled parts prior to assembly!
The use of a hobby "super glue" called CA (available from most hobby stores) is recommended. It only takes small amounts of this to create a strong bond. In fact, one method is to place a drop on wax paper and to have students use a pin to apply the glue to selected areas. In fact, it works best when there is only a small amount. The other advantage is that the parts being glued are ready to use quickly. We all know that the super glues will glue skin very quickly also - have some of the super glue remover available! Other glues will work, but do not setup rapidly and can be an aggravation.
Because it is NOT a quick project an approach which will work well in the classroom is to perform the work very much like it is in the real world. Assign the various tasks to groups who are responsible for supplying their part to the project. Remind them that on a real project various responsibilities are assigned to "teams" which take care of just that one area. Then things are brought together for final assembly (or, as it is often called integration). This is also a great way to show students how projects depend on great coordination and support from many people. It is not possible for anyone to do the job by themselves. You may also expect that some pieces will have to be redone ( so have some" spares" available for quality control), and that you may assign some members to do research on their "part" and do a presentation.
If you have any problems please feel free to contact us regarding this at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be most happy to help you with this project.
Now, Let's get started.....................
Don't Panic Because We Have Lots of Instructions.
(Sheet 1) and Back (Sheet 2). DO NOT GLUE the FRONT (Sheet 2) onto cardstock. Cut both circles out at this point.
The Pioneer Main Body, Radiometer, and Meteorite "boxes" are based on the same concept. When properly folded they will all form a box which was created by folds, and by glue ing tabs inside these which holds everything together. The Pioneer Main Body is the largest and has lots of sides. Red Lines indicate lines which are to be cut. Solid Lines are Fold Lines and should be "scored". The Red "Y" shapes on the Pioneer Main Body are cut-outs for the RTG Booms to be attached. THESE SHOULD BE CUT OUT BEFORE YOU ASSEMBLE the Pioneer Main Body. Cut along the Red Lines and cutout a slot about 1/16 of an inch wide (the thickness of two layers of cardstock) in the "Y" shape. Blue tabs attach to body sides and Gray Tabs fold over to later attach to the Top Panel.
The Pioneer Main Body has 5 sides and a sixth side with an extension which will physically be about 3/4 of an inch thick when completed. The "side panel" for the front extension is on the "top panel" and will interlock with the bottom when completed. See Photos 6 & 7.
The Launch Support Ring is simply a strip which is formed into a circle which is glued to the bottom of the Pioneer Main Body. See Photo 16 for details.
The Micrometeorite Detector is open on one side and glues to the Truss Box when completed. See Photos 8 & 9.
The Radiometer Assembly is irregularly shaped and will also be open on the irregular side when completed. See Photo 10
Review the illustrations for a better idea of what each part is supposed to look like prior to assembly.
Each of these assemblies can be assigned to individual groups in the room. If possible, have spare sheets ready in case mistakes are made.
Begin, by cutting out each of the Support Parts. These will need to be scored along the lines and bent. The Gray Lines bend outward, and the Gold Lines bend inward. Refer to the opening remarks about folding. If you do all of the inner folds first and then the outer ones using a ruler it will help.
When you get done you should have a "Y" shaped truss. See Photo 11.
Next carefully wrap the RTG Roll around an old AA battery. Be careful to make it a straight roll. When you get towards the end, place some glue along the edge and hold is place. Don't roll it to tight on the battery or else it will not slide off when done. See Photo 12.
Score all of the long lines on the RTG Fins part, vertical as you look at the original sheet.
Next Cut out the row of RTG Fins along the short lines. The two black lines on either end should have been scored so that as you bend the fin in half, you should now have a tab on each end which bends outward. See Photo 13.
Place a bit of glue on the tabbed end of the Fin and arrange them so that you have 4 rows along the sides of the RTG main body. See Photo 15.
Once you have all the Fins in place, then cut three grooves to match the ends of the RTG Support. Place the RTG on the end of the Support and glue.
You will have to "notch" the other end of the RTG Support to match the size of the "Y" you cut in the side of the Pioneer Main Body. Trim the notches to size and fit to the Main Body. See Photo 16.
This is a simple step. Cut out each of the two halves of a circle. Take the Outer one (Gray) and make a cone out of it similar to what you did to the Main Dish. It this case you want the opening to be about 1.25 inch across. Glue the ends to form the cone.
Next roll the Inner Cone and make it smaller than the Outer one. Slip it inside and allow to expand and fill the inside of the Feedhorn. Glue in place.
Next, either take straws or 1/8th inch balsa sticks and cut them about 3 inches in length. You are going to build a "tripod" for the Feedhorn. Hold the "cone" above the center of the dish and hold one support next to it. Estimate the angle at which the support need to be cut. Cut it and test. If good, then copy it two more times to make the 3 legs.
Next glue one support about half way up the "cone". Allow to dry and glue the other two supports at equal distances around the "cone". Center the Feedhorn on the dish and glue supports to the dish. See Photo 17.
You will probably want to use an 1/8 piece of balsa for this since the "stick" needs to be 14 inches long. You can make it longer to glue inside the Pioneer Main Body.
Locate a "red square" on the longest side of the Main Body It is nearly centered. Take a Hobby Knife and make a small hole there into which you can insert the balsa "stick" (keep it tight for support). This is the Magnetometer Boom. You may want to glue a tiny "bulb shape" at the end. This was a device designed to sense magnetic fields around the spacecraft. It has been important in determining just how far the influence of the Sun extends throughout the solar system and beyond In a real effort this instrument is defining what "interstellar" means. See Photo 18.
You are Done!
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