So how do you end a
series on space? Shoot up some rockets!
Challenge: The geologist and botanist are to make a
parachute and nose cone that will safely bring an egg
back to Earth after being shot into the air with a rocket.
The physicists and chemists are to make the rockets.
This was fun and funny. First, neither of us had ever
thought about parachutes, but that’s no reason
not to try. The science seemed pretty straightforward.
The parachute was to create drag to slow the landing,
but not so much that it would be blown sideways off
We had bin bags to work with, plus string and 2-litre
bottles. Kate limited us to one dozen eggs. We made
several different sized parachutes. Neither Iain nor
I are extremely detail-oriented, so we found our first
parachutes rocking all over the place on their way down.
We quickly learned that the strings had to be exactly,
exactly, exactly the same length, not “about”
the same length. The bin-bag parachute had to be a circle,
a real circle not an approximate circle. The hole in
the middle had to really be in the middle. So, we slowed
down and made good parachutes. Once we did this, they
worked—at least they floated to the ground.