Transcript for NASA Connect - Festival of Flight

>> Hello, I'm

[inaudible], as a
Champion Aeronautic pilot,

I compete with gravity
almost every single day.

If it weren't for my
skills and aircrafts,

it will be an uneven mess.

I enjoy the challenge
of flying fast.

The NASA team faces challenges too.

They encourage us all
to push our knowledge

and skills to a higher level.

My airplane flies over two
hundred miles per hour.

How fast do you think, astronauts
have to go to reach earth orbit,

two thousand, ten thousand, how
about over seventeen thousand?

That's right seventeen thousand
five hundred miles per hour.

Speed isn't the only challenge,
safety is very important

and making space for less
expensive is another,

to be a part of the team
tackling these challenges,

you need to do well in
schools especially in math,

science and technology.

On today's NASA Connect, we will
be working with NASA's scientists

and engineers to explore the
technologies; that will be needed

by the next generation's
space explorer.

That's you.

So do you ready to take off
with your host, Jennifer Pulley

and Dan Angelo, on this
episode of NASA Connect?

[Jennifer Pulley:] Hi!

I'm Jennifer Pulley, your
host along with Dan Angelo,

who is joining us remotely

from the NASA Langley Research
Centre in Hampton Virginia.

You know, we're really excited
to be here at the U.S. Space

and Rocket Centre in
Huntsville Alabama,

for part of this NASA Connect.

Teachers, make sure you have the
educated guide for today's program.

It can be downloaded from
the NASA Connect website.

In it, you'll find great map based
hands on activities and information

on our instructional
technology components.

On this episode of NASA Connect;

we are visiting NASA
Marshall Space Flight Center

in Huntsville Alabama.

There, we'll meet NASA
scientist and engineers,

who are explaining the challenges
of building the next generation

of reusable spacecrafts.

My friends here are going to help
me figure out, what it takes to get

in the orbit, how can we do that?

By learning how NASA
is giving spacecrafts

in the orbit more safely
and less expensively.

Can we just keep doing in
the way; we always have,

where you know things
changed and we need to change,

in order to continue our journey
at exploration, just think,

we were from the Wright
Brother's first flight in 1903,

to landing on the moon in 1969,

as you can see people have been
dreaming a flight for ages,

one of those dreamers with
American Robert Goddard,

an early experiment with rockets.

His work continues to inspire
generations of scientist.

These rockets or the
results of Goddard's

and other pioneer's imagination
and hard work, now it's your turn.

You are the next generation
of space explorers.

>> Explorers, well that's very
cool, I know, it really is that

and you know, just as
the early space programs

of NASA like Mercury, Gemini and
Apollo, led us to the shadow,

the shadow leave this
to the next generation

of space craft what's that,
that's what the show is all about


>> All right.

Okay. I am home, how do you get
these heavy rockets of the ground?

>> You know, I thought
that's a really good question

and what do we mean
by the word Heavy?

Well what we call 'Heavy' is
just a way of measuring gravity.

Gravity is a force of
attraction between objects.

Everything in the universe is
attracted to everything else.

Sometimes it's powerful
but sometimes it's weak.

The amount of attraction really
depends on the mass of the objects.

>> Mass?

[inaudible], here
we have said that.

>> Hey

[inaudible] think how

[inaudible] I appoint to you.

Mass is not the same as weight.

Think about how astronauts become
nearly weightless in space?

When they are on the moon,
they weigh only one sixth

of their weight on earth.

For example a man who
weighs 180 pounds on earth,

would weight 30 pounds on the moon.

>> They didn't shrink, did they?

>> Their mass is the same; so what
causes their weight to change?

>> Gravity.

The force of attraction between
objects, on earth we feel gravity

because of earth's mass.

Weight is just how we measured
gravity's pull on things.

In space gravity is less
because we are further away

from the earth's mass.

The further away from a large mass
like our earth, the less gravity

and therefore the less weight.

>> What is this have to
do to run spacecraft?

>> Everything at the mass of a
spacecraft determine its weight

and the more a space craft weighs,

the more force is
needed to reach orbit.

>> Force? I thought we
are talking about gravity.

>> Okay. I think, we need to
talk about some basics here.

Lucky for us, 17th century English
scientists Sir Isaac Newton,

explained the relationship
of mass to gravity.

He said, "We need force
to overcome gravity".

Newton described this
relationship as a series of laws.

Newton helped to understanding
of gravity with his first law.

What Newton said is easy
to understand and object

at rest will stay at rest
unless a force moves it,

with a spacecraft we need to come
up with the force to move it.

>> So we need to keep the
weight and mass low, right?

>> Correct.

Keeping the mass low, will
mean less weight at large.

The force of gravity on the
spacecraft is equal to the force

of the large fat holding it up.

What Newton called
"Balanced Forces".

We have to unbalance these
forces to move the spacecraft.

>> How do we do that?

>> Well Cathy, Newton
explained in his second law,

that 'If a force is applied to
body of mass, the body will move

in the direction of the force'.

Newton also described
in his third law

that for every action there is
an equal and opposite reaction.

The thrust of a rocket
motor is the action;

the reaction is the
spacecraft leaving the pad.

Thrust measures the
power of a rocket engine.

The thrust must be greater
than the force of gravity

that keeps a rocket
on a launch pad.

For example, if the Thrust 'T'
of a rocket is 75 kilograms

and the Weight of the
rocket 'W' is 50 kilograms,

then subtracting 50 from
75 would equal 25 kilograms

of upward force 'F'.

To get into orbit, you need to
keep the upward force grater

than the force of gravity.

When you ride in amusement
park ride like the space shaft.

Here at the space
and rocket centre?

You are overcoming
gravity as you rise up.

At the top, you experience
free fall,

one micro gravity just
like the astronauts.

You just don't stay
in free fall very long

because you dropped back
downward as the downward force

of gravity becomes greater
than the upward force.

The force of gravity is
measured in units called "G".

At the sea level that force
equals 1G, so we need more

than one G a force
to move the rocket?

>> Pretty much Seema, but you
know it's not easy as it sounds.

Let's take the Saturn five
rocket of the Apollo program,

now how much do you think
that rocket weighed at launch,

remember how fast the
spacecraft needs to travel

in order to reach orbit.

>> Yes, Seventeen thousand
five hundred miles per hour.

>> Correct, and that's over Twenty
eight thousand kilometers per hour.

The Saturn five is taller than
the Statue of Liberty and weigh

over six million pounds at launch.

The Saturn five engines
had to produce over seven

and half million pounds of
thrust to have an upward force

to overcome the downward
force of gravity.

>> Okay, I get it, if we keep
the weight of the rocket down

and we won't needed much
engine thrust to move it.

>> Right, you guy's are so
smart; you know engineers deal

with this all the time.

They use map to compare the
vehicle weight to the thrust

of the engines, and this
can be written as a ratio

and a ratio is just a simple way
of comparing one thing to another.

In this case, vehicle
weight compared to thrust.

So let's talk about
the Saturn five.

Let's say it weighs
a million pounds

and it produces a
million pounds of thrust.

The ratio for that; would then be
one to one and won't go any where.

>> The Saturn five engines created
seven and half million pounds

of thrust and the vehicle
weighed six million pounds.

Yeah, so that's a ratio
of seven point five to six

or let's see five to four.

>> Exactly, now you see
how important it is,

to build rockets more light weight,

a couple of ways NASA scientist
and engineers tackle this problem,

is by using light weight materials

and designing more
efficient engines.

Today NASA is working on the next
generation of a useable spacecraft

or launch vehicle system.

We call it, the space launch
initiative or SLI for short.

Later we'll work with NASA
researchers to learn how they deal

with these challenges
but first let's visit Dan

for this shows web-based activity.

[Dan:] Thanks Jennifer.

Today we are visiting
the Challenger Center

in Chattanooga Tennessee, the
student from the Chattanooga school

of arts and scientist;
will be helping us today

on this web-based activity.

The Challenger Center
provides students

and teachers several
stimulated space missions.

During the missions, students
work as a team to solve problems

and apply math, science
and technology concepts

to real life situations.

>> Certainly this is want to


>> Each year the center provides

over eight thousand students
an opportunity to rendezvous

with the comet, work on a space
station or take a voyage to mars.

We are using the center's
computer lab

to highlight this
episode's web activity.

Earlier today, we talked
about the importance

of the map concept the ratios
to scientist and engineers.

On the NASA Connect website,
you can learn more about ratios

by clicking on dance domain.

To find the link to
the show's instruction

or technology activity azone just
for teachers and the career zone,

where you can meet some
of our show's guest

and learn about their jobs.

Selecting this show's instructional
activity, will take you

to river deeps, destination map,
mastering skills and concept five.

Your point activities, that make
learning about ratio is fine

and its free to NASA
Connect educator.

Click on ratios and proportions,
teacher you will find a variety

of clever ways that
teach about ratio.

From the connect website, you
can also order a great CD,

that will have you designing
your own plane and learning more

about ratios in no time.

Just select the exploring
aeronautic CD

from NASA's core website.

On the main menu, you can select
the resource center to find

out about the history applied
or pick the activity center

to learn more about
the lift and drag.

Jennifer, I been having fun
designing aircraft using the

exploring aeronautic CD.

So tell me, what have you found
out about the next generation

of re-useable spacecraft, you
know the one I'll be driving.

>> Wait minute


Don't you have to finish school
and a few other things first?

>> Well we have, you
know I mean I think so.

>> Okay, Okay I will get
back to work on that.

>> Okay you do that.

Meanwhile we got a
lot of work to do and

[inaudible] help me out.

>> What is your usable
launch vehicle or RRV?

>> Why is spacecraft
need to be that way?

>> How is the RRV
projected during the entry?

[Jennifer:] Those are
some good questions,

now let's get some
answers from Cathy


She is an engineer here at NASA

[inaudible], Cathy!

What is with the NASA's
design challenges

over the next generation
of spacecraft?

[Cathy:] Jennifer, have a
great bunch of talented folks

from around the country,
helping us to choose best design.

Some work for the government,
some work for private companies

and others for universities.

Also I was designing the whole
system for the next generation

of the usable launch vehicles.

[Jennifer:] Okay, we keep
saying next generation.

What was the first generation?

[Cathy:] Good question, the space
shuttle is the world's first

reusable launch vehicle.

The space shuttle

[inaudible] design to be
launched again and again,

that is our first generation of
reusable launch vehicles or RRV

and that's why we talk
about the next genRRV.

[Jennifer:] So what are the new
things you are doing to get ready

for the replacement
of the space shuttle?

[Cathy:] What the most
important thing is, safety.

The challenge is to make
vehicle as light as possible

without reducing safety
or strength.

[Jennifer:] You know
that's understandable.

So I guess being light weight is
that the only thing that matters.

[Cathy:] That's right, a part of
system may actually be heavier is

[inaudible] made the whole system
pay for a less expensive operate.

The weight increase and might
reduced cost, help make the

[inaudible] job of paper.

We definitely want to keep
space travel routine and

[inaudible] for those next
generation space explorers.

>> There are many things for the
SOI programs considering task.

Different types of engines,
fuels and vehicles shapes

and these are only some of the
parts, of the entire system.

We got the whole system, the
architecture and we need everything

from mission planning
to launch on obit

[inaudible] and getting the
vehicle ready to fly again.

[Jennifer Pulley:] Popular!

sounds pretty challenging.

So have you

[inaudible] with any design job.

>> First we had to decide what we
want to do in space before we start

to designing, that's the season
next generation RRV is doing two

main things -- getting

to the international
space station and taking

[inaudible] into obit.

We select preliminary
design that bests our needs.

One challenge vehicle
designer is based is what type

of engine to use.

Some engines use Kerosene
and liquid Oxygen,

other mainly use the
Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen.

Each option offers advantages.

We launched some interesting
engines, that's high in performance

of the main engine have the major
influence on the whole space

[inaudible], they influence
safety, weight, maintenance,

preparation time and cost.

[Jennifer:] So what are the
other things we can look

for in the next generation RRV?

>> A one of things that you might
see are the reusable boosters,



>> A booster

[inaudible], a booster is
the primary of first stage

for multi-stage rocket.

[Jennifer:] Okay that make sense,

but you said the boosters
are going to fly back.

How do they do that?

>> Well they have home board
computers for navigation

and they also have onboard
computers that works

[inaudible] system,
alerting Astronauts,

the people of the ground whenever
there is in kind of problem.

>> Right that's really important.

Now, besides the onboard computer
systems, how also you can improve


>> Well, on the space
craft goes from space

to our atmosphere friction
with the air can heat

up the outside the vehicle to
temperatures over sixteen hundred

[inaudible] that's hard
enough to not still.

The part of the vehicle
that protects

to cruise are the Thermal
Protection System or TPS.

[Jennifer:] So what is the
Thermal Protection System made

out and how does it work?

>> Currently we are looking
at a number of materials

that all Thermal Protection
Systems work in two basic ways.

The first way is absorption, like
a pot holder you design a skin

of the space craft so that it can
not absorb the heat of reentry

without damaging the vehicle.

The second way is radiation the
out side of the vehicle is designed

to radiate the heat
from reentry like a

[inaudible] protect

[inaudible] fire.

Some designs will combine
both of these approaches

to protect the Astronaut
in spacecraft

from the heat of reentry.


[inaudible] has to thin and
light but still strong enough

to do the job over and over again.

[Jennifer:] Cathy
that sounds difficult.

[Cathy:] Well, it is
challenging, but remember

[inaudible] is our number concern.

For the next generations spacecraft
system we will have other

changes too.

[Jennifer:] What sort of changes?

[Cathy:] Well for instance to
space shuttle will carry both cargo

and Astronauts for the
next generation RRV,

we want to divide those jobs.

We are looking at two vehicles --
our cargo ship with no crew onboard

and a smaller crew
transport vehicle.

Protecting the crew is much
easier when they are not part

of a huge cargo vehicle.

A crew transport vehicle has a
rocket engine have to get away

from the launch vehicle,
in case of any problems.

The Cargo vehicle doesn't need
all those equipment required

to protect people, so
they can carry more cargo.

It's really a win-win situation.

[Jennifer:] That's seemed
for Cathy, thank you so much

for all the information on the
space launching initiative.

Now before we move on
it's time for a few

[inaudible] review.

If you are watching the show on
video-tape, pause the tape now

and discuss these questions.

>> [inaudible] is your
usable launch vehicle or RRV.

>> [inaudible] based

[inaudible] to be right way.

>> How is the ROV
protected during the entry?

>> Now its time for our viewers to
get hand on experience building


>>NASA connect

[inaudible] to show you this
programs hand on activity.

>> You can dial up the

[inaudible] and listen
to some materials

from the NASA connect website.

>> Here are the main objectives.

>> Students well,

gather statistical data
find the optimum ratio

for the best vehicle performance,

explore mathematical
problem solving

and explore mathematical
models through graphic.

>> Here are some terms
you need to know.

>> Proportion, is the actual
driving forward or away.

Trust, is a force produced
by a rocket engine and reacts

into a high velocity exhaust gas.

Kinetic energy is energy in motion.

A momentum is a directional
measurement of it object's motion.

It's tendency to continue moving
in a particular direction.

>> Good morning class.

>>Good morning Ms


>> Today

[inaudible] got together
statistical data

so that we can determine the
optimum ratio of our BSC rocket.

>> Students for organize
into group of four,

with each student taking our one
of four jobs as the launch officer;

the launch officer, data recorder
and measurement technician.

Roles can be rotated
after every trial.

Each group will construct
the launch facility at

[inaudible] 20 meters
of masking tape

on the ground in a straight line.

Divide the length of masking
tape into 10 cm interval.

Place the shoe box at the
one end of the masking tape,

the rocket will replace
against that each time.

It may be necessary for
the pre-launch officer

in the group place scrabble

or dirt inside the
box to stabilize it.

Begin testing by using a push pin

[inaudible] a two cm baking sort
of packet to the bottom of the


The directions to assemble
the baking set of packet,

can be found in the educated guide.

Remember each rocket must be

[inaudible] one hundred and
fifteen no leaders of vinegar.

>> Try to give vinegar

[inaudible] itself?

>> Slide the core which
baking sort of packet attached

into the neck of the bottom firmly.

The launch officer will rapidly
shake the rocket three times

to start the reaction of

[inaudible] and vinegar.

Quickly place the core end

of the rocket against the
shoe box and move away.

>> [inaudible].

>> The measurement technician
will call after this and travel

by the rocket and the data
recorder will write the distance

on the distance data chart.

The pre-launch officer will
then prepare the rocket

for the next trial.

Repetitive all the trials
have been completed.

Each group of proxy data on to
a graph using a different color

for each group.

Students for comparative groups
average data and analyze the shape

of the graph to determine the best
ratio of baking soda to vinegar.

>> [inaudible] in
comparing the data

at what point do they
recorded data start increasing.


[Erica:] It started
increasing immediately.

>> Why would it be important for us
to find the optimum amount of fuel

to use for any rockets Ann!

[Ann:] Because you don't
want to carry more hours


>> Teachers, if you
would like help it,

they can show the rocket
lesson simply in list the help

of your AIAA Mentor who will
be glad to help your class

with these activities.

AIAA stands for American Institute
of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Boy those kids of like
they are having fun.

>> No Jennifer I do not say
having a blast, but I wanted to.

>> The folks in NASA martial
having awesome program

for next generations explorers

to give a real feel
for rocket science.

It's called the Student
Launch Initiative, SLI,

just like the Space
Launch Initiative.

Initiative is the key word because
these students design, build, test,

launch and reuse a rocket
carrying a half round experiment.

The experience that you're looking
in their rockets take off and store

for one and half to over
three kilometers high.

>> [inaudible].

>> Students from Pennsylvania
area high schools

and universities participated

in NASA's first Students
Launch Initiative.

These students used math,
science and technology to design

and build their rockets,
to develop websites

and to applied budgeting
and planning principles.

>> Jennifer I really want to be
part of one of these SLI team.

>> [inaudible] your teams,
where are your teammates?

>> Jennifer, Robert, there he is.

>> What is the computer simulation?

How our computers simulations
used to design spacecraft?

>> Our math and science
used to plan

for the next generation scenario.

>> The team and I at the
Collaborative Engineering Centre

or CEC here at NASA Marshal.

The CEC is a facility that
able scientists and engineers

from across the country to
study spacecraft architecture

in a virtual environment kind

of like a chat room before
they build the vehicles.

They do this by using
computers simulations.

Cathy, if I remember correctly,

our computer simulation is a
powerful tool that allows engineers

such as yourself to input
data into a program.

[Cathy:] Exactly, we get to
play or I mean study what else

with different types of engines,
structures, thermal protection

and whatever we want to test
just by changing the data.

>> That's great.

Now, what do you have the
kids working on today?

[Cathy:] Earlier we talked
about how different fuel choices

which propel the spacecrafts
affect the launch weighted vehicle,

by using computer simulations
we can get a real time idea

of how these choices affect
the whole architecture.

The computer simulation shows
how one change can repel

through the entire system
like waves on a pond.

>> I get it computer
simulation allow designers

to see how one choice can
affect the big picture.

[Cathy:] You have some another
reason why simulations are

so useful, is because we have
over 20 years of experience

with the space shuttle.

>> I see, so by looking at
similar numbers and class

from the shuttle program we
have a starting off point

to begin testing new ideas.

[Cathy:] Well yes, sometimes
of course we have to use,

engineers have to use thier
estimated skills to come

up with the starting point
for the calculations.

>> So well, can you
give me an example?

[Cathy:] Sure.

Suppose you are looking at
TPS, Thermo Protection Systems.

Let's say about a low maintenance
TPS system weighs three thousand

kilograms and the total weight

of the vehicle is seventy
five thousand kilograms.

How would you estimate the
Thermal Protection System weight

to the vehicle weight ratio?

>> Okay. Let's see, three
thousand kilograms TPS weight

to seventy five thousand
kilograms of Vehicle weight.

By simplify and reduce
that one to twenty five.

[Cathy:] Exactly, we might
find out one systems is heavier

but the reduced maintenance cost
might still make it a good idea.

>> Of course eventually you have

to build the test systems
and hard work done.

Think of the time in many step,
testing with the simulations first.

>> And there is a
lot more creativity.

>> Absolutely.

>> See how they are
trying different Thermal

Protection Systems.

Look what it does to the
vehicle weight and structure too.

>> What do we do before
we had this technology?

>> Well for one thing we
did calculations by hand.

We also done and tested the
whole lot more hardware,

because that was okay then.

That now engineers have so
many more tools to help them.

But they still must use
math, science and technology.

First there has to be Computer
Scientists and Mathematicians

to design a software and
hardware that is needed

for computer stimulations.

Remember the computer
only calculates the data

but the engineers need sharp
math and science skills

to analyze the results and
decide on the final design.

This space launch initiative
will get a space craft to orbit,

more safely and less expensively.

That's going to take a team effort.

And it's not too early for
your next generation explorers

to start getting ready.

>> Doing well in school, it's
the most important start.

>> I couldn't agree with you


Thank you so much Cathy for
sharing all the information you did

with us.

>> No. no, no problem about that.

>> We really appreciate that
the kids had a great time

and I am sure we had a really hard
time pulling them away from you.

>> Oh thanks for coming.

>> You are welcome.

>> Hey why we are here?

Let's do our last


>> What is a computer stimulation?

How do computer stimulations
used to design space craft?

>> How our math and science used to
plan for the next generation ROV.

>> If you are watching on tape you
can pause and discuss and teachers

if you would like a video
tape of this program

and be accompanying educator guide.

Check out the NASA Connect website.

Well done that

[inaudible] up this
episode of NASA Connect.

So the question of the
day is, are you ready

to join the next generations
of space explorers?

>> You better believe
that Jennifer.

>> We would like to
thank everyone who helped

to make this program possible.

If you have comments or
suggestions about this episode

or about NASA Connect in general,
e-mail us at

>> Or pick up the pen and
write us at NASA Connect,

NASA Centre for Distance Learning.

NASA learning Research centre, mail

[inaudible] four hundred,

[inaudible] Virginia
two three six eight one.

>> You can also went to NASA
call the NASA Centre Operations

of Resources for Educators
to view this

and past shows call the NASA
quest at

Until next time stay
connected to math

>> science, technology

>> And NASA.

>> See ya

>> Bye

>> Thanks Jennifer.

Today we are visiting
the challenger centre in

[inaudible] .

The students of the

[inaudible] okay, sorry.

>> The amount of attraction really
depends on the mass of the objects.

>> Mass?

[ Laughter ]

>> More force is needed
to reach orbit.

[ Laughter ]

>> Orbit, Orbit.

>> How can we do that?

>> By learning how NASA is getting
space craft into orbit less

[inaudible] the more force
is needed to reach orbit.

[ Laughter ]

>> Orbit, orbit, orbit,
sorry I can't.

>> Captioning funded by the
MNC foundation of America.


The Open Video Project is managed at the Interaction Design Laboratory,
at the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill