Once a spacecraft is in orbit, often it needs to rendezvous and dock with another space craft, just like in the video above. To give your students a little idea of what this would be like, you can give them a training session.
Take two paper plates and cut the rims off, so that you have two flat circles. You could also make them out of cardstock or the like.
Punch 4-6 holes around the edge with a hole punch.
Make sure that the two circles and their holes are exactly alike.
Cut slits in the ends of as many straws as you have holes.
Put the straws through the holes, slit ends last. Spread the cut ends and tape them to the circle.Can you line up the paper with the straws attached so that all the straws go into the holes in the other paper at the same time?
You are allowed to bend the circle to help you align the straws, but you are not allowed to touch the straws.
Docking completed. Can you improve you time with practice?
sources and inspiration:
- Space Station Science, Marianne Dyson