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Microgravity: living on the International Space Station
Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

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Week 1 Microgravity and the International Space Station


In this first week you will look at weightlessness, zero gravity and microgravity in the context of a parabolic flight. You will study the physics of the International Space Station (ISS), its altitude and speed. You will consider the various rockets used to send Astronauts into space over the decades and you will use a software simulation to launch your own rocket. You will consider units of measurement for forces, mass and acceleration. Finally, you will carry out a practical experiment using a cup of rice to model circular motion similar to the ISS orbiting the Earth.

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • understand what microgravity is and the difference between mass and weight
  • understand equations of motion, forces and fields
  • substitute numbers into an equation and understand what the answer means in context
  • compare numerical values and understand their scientific significance
  • interpret an online interactive diagram and extract information from it.