Ablative Shield Testing
Another activity from the Space Academy for Educators in Huntsville, Alabama. This is an new activity that we are planning to run in the summer term.
Children work in teams to design and construct and ablative shield to protect a spacecraft form the high temperatures of re-entry. As with the Urine processing activity the groups have limited credits to spend on materials to build their shield and then they are tested with the device shown in the photograph to the left.
The shields are tested by firing a blow torch at them for a fixed time. There is a raw egg (eggstronaut) on the opposite side of the shield so its success is measured by the egg remaining uncooked as well as monitoring temperature with an IR thermometer.
Resources and Links
- The Space Academy for Educators lesson plan for ablative shielding can be viewed here.
- The score sheet for the ablative shielding challenge can be viewed here.
- The presentation to introduce this challenge can be found here.
- Instructions to construct your own ablative shield testing unit can be found here.
With thanks to the Space Academy for Educators team at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.