high_schoolClass of 2024Cockeysville, Maryland
- Can a space shuttle withstand a perpendicular launch from Mars? with mentor Sara (Aug. 8, 2022)
Can a space shuttle withstand a perpendicular launch from Mars?
Started Feb. 16, 2022
Abstract or project description
In the near future, humans will go to Mars. During these interplanetary journeys, astronaut safety will be paramount. Our objective was to determine whether the astronauts will be able to launch safely from Mars in a space shuttle taking off perpendicularly. This study used high school kinematics along with equations for the atmospheric density and total force applied on the spacecraft, evaluating these values for each atmospheric layer. The software Onshape was used to find the cross-sectional front-view area of the spacecraft. Approximations were made for the spacecraft’s dimensions and the drag coefficient where verifiable data was unavailable. The total force was found to be significantly lower than 3Gs which ensures a safe take-off for the astronauts and saves money in manufacturing costs for assembling new rockets.