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Science » Applied Sciences » Engineering

Engineering Design Challenges: Thermal Protection Systems Educator Guide

helps students (Grades 6-9) learn how NASA engineers design thermal protection systems -- the systems that protect spacecraft from the heat of atmospheric friction (during launch and re-entry) and engine exhaust heat. Students work in teams to design, build, and test an aluminum foil and copper screening structure built to protect a model launch vehicle from a propane torch for as long as possible. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

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Interesting Fact:

Space vehicles must have thermal protection systems (TPS) to maintain acceptable temperatures. When designing the TPS, aerospace engineers must consider the heat from atmospheric friction on a spacecraft during launch and re-entry and the extreme heat generated from the exhaust plumes of the engine.
See caption below

Ares I and Ares V

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Science »  Space Sciences »  Aeronautics

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