Rocket Science

Project: Design a mission to the moon or another planet using software tools

In this section of ENGR100, we will focus on Rocket Science – learning about orbital mechanics, different types of rocket engines, and the basics of interplanetary travel. We will learn how solve Newton’s Laws on a computer and how large simulation software works. Labs will build on each other to provide a foundation for the team project (yes, we will launch rockets during at least one lab), which you can choose:

Project 1: Save humanity from an approaching asteroid! What would you do if your team discovered that an asteroid would collide with the Earth in 7 years time? In this project, you will have to design a mission that will track the object, and then try to mitigate a disaster by altering its course.

Project 2: Keeping our space clear of junk. Did you know that there are over 20,000 pieces of space debris larger than a softball in orbit around the Earth right now? And that if these pieces of debris collide with something else, they could potentially make thousands of more pieces? And, finally, that Space-X is launching 60 satellites a month, contributing to the traffic in space! These objects are incredibly hard to clean up too! Can you design a mission that can clean up our near-Earth space environment? Can you make a profitable business out of it?

Project 3: Design your own mission (with instructor approval)

In this project, you will use learn to use the Systems Tool Kit to design missions that can save humanity from itself and external threats!