Mini Makers: Lunar Landers

What you'll learn:

Landing on the moon is a difficult task, even if it is a printed moon in your living room.

Key takeaways:

It took thousands of people to land on the moon, and the physics and trajectory were vitally important. 

Did you enjoy the Craters of the Moon activity last week? I have another Lunar mission for you as this week's mini maker activity - designing and launching lunar landers!

I created a super easy cutting and folding template for your kids to make their lunar landers out of - print them on colored cardstock for a little extra pizzaz and sturdiness. They can also draw on windows, astronauts, technical lasers (because lasers), computers, only their imagination is the limit!

In the download folder there is also tiled prints of a moon with all of the Apollo landing sites, and a bit of Earth to launch from! They take up quite a few pages (~24 for both) but it adds a fun element as kids can launch, and attempt to land, on the Apollo sites!

This activity is a great entry into learning about our history of the moon! In the Craters of the Moon activity you learn about how the moon formed, and why it has so many craters, so let's use this activity to learn about human history and the moon!


(Aka cool facts about our moon landings to look at while you are engaged in the STEM activity)

The Fantastic 12: A total of 12 men have landed on the moon, all from US manned missions between 1969 and 1972. In fact, since 1972, we haven't landed anything on the moon!

July 20th 1969: One Giant Leap! We landed on the moon July 20th 1969, with Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and the lesser known Michael Collins. Michael Collins did not set foot on the moon, but instead orbited in the command module, Columbia.

Apollo 13: There were 7 manned missions to the moon, but you will find only 6 lunar landing sites. That is because the Apollo 13 mission did not touch down to the moon. Instead, because of technical difficulties, they orbited the moon and used it as a slingshot to get them back home as quickly as possible.

The White Flag: The American flag planted on the moon in the historic first landing has been bleached white by radiation for many years.

Don't miss your connection! Astronauts on the lunar surface have to reconnect with the orbiting comand module if they are to make it home. On the first Apollo mission, President Richard Nixon prepared a speech in case Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin missed their rendevouz:

"These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice."

In fact, to make matters even scarier for Aldrin and Armstrong, they accidentally knocked loose a circuit breaker in charge of engine ignition while getting ready for their trip back. Miraculously, Aldrin used a felt tip pin to push the breaker back into place and catch up with the command module just in time!

Looking for more interesting tidbits? Do a quick google search and learn about the only sculpture on the moon, the peanut that has made the round trip from Chez Jay and orange soil!

We hope you enjoy this mini maker with your family! You can even make a fun game of it, try to engineer them to steer better, or think up better ways to create lift!

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