episode one the Rough Scientists
had to make a Mars Rover which could explore strange new
worlds. This week Kathy and Jonathan
have to go one better and design an aerial surveyor that
can explore much greater areas by floating above land.
Just like the rover challenge, they've been given a tiny
camera which will record whatever the aerial surveyor
Back on Earth, Mike has a very
different challenge. Back in 1970 the crew of Apollo
XIII faced certain death when an accident damaged their
oxygen tanks. To survive they had to build a carbon
dioxide filter and Mike has to do the same.
In 1872 California experienced one of the biggest earthquake
ever recorded in the United States. Ellen
and Iain have to work out where
the epicentre of the quake was, and its magnitude.
Kathy and Jonathan decide to make a solar balloon
heated by the power of the sun. Made by sticking black
bin bags together, the idea is to hang the camera below
it. (An idea, incidentally, that NASA are actively exploring
for Mars.) Unfortunately the Rough Science version encounters
a series of unexpected setbacks, and on day three it
is touch and go whether it will get off the ground.
For Mike to make his carbon dioxide filter he needs
to make limewater. To do that he needs to find limestone,
heat it up to make quicklime, and then dissolve it in
water. However, making quicklime proves to be more difficult
than anticipated, and on Day three he faces a classic
Rough Science test to see if he has succeeded in making
a working carbon dioxide filter.
Ellen and Iain take to the air to try and find the
site of the 1872 earthquake. Their first task is to
find the fault line which marks the location of the
earthquake. They then set out to measure the amount
of movement that occurred along the fault, to work out
where the maximum displacement was. This should give
them the epicentre of the earthquake, and also provide
the information they need to calculate its magnitude.
Should but will it?