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Coming back to Earth safely

In these activities, pupils are introduced to the idea of controlled or uncontrolled re-entry for satellites. They are challenged to devise a way of reducing space debris by designing alterations to satellites so that they bring themselves back to Earth. In the first activity, the students pretend to be satellites in orbit and experience how increasing the surface area of an object moving in air can cause it to slow down. They go on to discuss and test their own ideas using spinning helicopter ‘satellites’, before deciding what could be packed in a satellite’s ‘backpack’ and used for a controlled re-entry or slow down.

The resource includes pupil worksheets as well as teacher guidance.

 

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