The attached pdf contains solutions to the Dynamics & Space exam questions. Download your copy using the link below.
Here are the exam questions for the Dynamics and Space. I have included a copy of the data sheet inside the front cover, you might need it for some of these questions. A set of solutions will follow shortly.
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – President John F. Kennedy (12th September, 1962)
It’s 45 years since the success of Apollo 11 and nobody has tried to send a person further away than the Moon. Why is that?
It turns out there are many challenges to be overcome if we want to send astronauts to another planet, e.g. Mars. Earlier this year, the BBC Horizon programme looked at the issues. Here is the episode. I have split the film into three parts.
Use the link at the end of this post if you want to download a copy to watch later.
We’ve started looking at telescopes and this BBC programme from 2 years ago featured the replacement for Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope. The presenter, Maggie Aderin Pocock now hosts The Sky at Night on BBC4.
Please take some time to watch both parts of the film. Maggie covers the basic idea of satellites, how we achieve geostationary orbit, looks at examples of Earth observation and the manufacture of the James Webb’s massive 6.5m mirror. In part 1, around 17 minutes in, you’ll see satellite footage over the Highlands, can’t quite see Thurso though.
If you want to download a copy of the video to watch later, use the download link below. Please be patient, the file is about 660MB in size.
In space there is no air resistance to oppose motion, so the Space Shuttle orbiter can travel at very high speeds, up to 17,321 mph! At these speeds, the orbiter experiences enormous air resistance as it descends into the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of its mission.
This air resistance is just like any other form of friction – it converts kinetic energy into heat energy. The effect of this heat energy is demonstrated in this video clip taken by a Canadian police car camera. It shows a meteor burning up in the atmosphere above Edmonton.
Thankfully most meteors do burn up in the atmosphere, although the dinosaurs were not so lucky.
The high temperatures created during re-entry ionise the gas around the orbiter and this is often seen as a bright light in NASA cockpit videos, such as the one shown below.
To protect the vehicle and its crew from these high temperatures, the underside of the orbiter is covered by a layer of heat resistant tiles called the thermal protection system. This NASA clip explains how the tiles are constructed and arranged on the underside of the orbiter.
When Columbia was launched in 2003, something fell against the insulation on the left wing and knocked off some of the tiles. This hole in the thermal protection system caused Columbia to explode over the US as it re-entered the atmosphere. There is a wikipedia article about the Columbia disaster.
Video footage of NASA’s Houston control room from the morning of the disaster was included in the BBC Horizon documentary Final Descent – Last Flight of Space Shuttle Columbia.
WARNING: This last film is an excerpt from the Horizon programme and includes genuine cockpit video that was found in the wreckage, with some clips of the crew’s final minutes before they were killed.
There is a good description of the Space Shuttle at How Stuff Works.
Today we looked at emission spectra from different light sources; mercury, sodium, cadmium and oxygen discharge tubes, using a handheld spectroscope.
Here is a video that shows you how to make a basic spectroscope at home. There are lots of guides like this online. You might prefer to make a larger spectroscope by using a Pringles tub rather than an old toilet roll holder as the main tube.
I have attached the handout on colour and emission of light from different elements below.