Lunar and Planetary Institute

Explore! Fun with Science
Activity at a Glance
Eggstronaut Drop
About Capsules
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Milk Carton Capsules
Children ages 4 to 8 are challenged to get their egg-stronauts safely to Earth in parachuted capsules made from small milk cartons and plastic bags. The cartons can be decorated with astronauts or Apollo, Mercury, or Gemini capsules — or the children can use their own imaginations!

Space Capsule Craft
A simple landing capsule constructed using a Styrofoam cup (capsule), string, and a plastic grocery bag to act as the parachute. Children ages 4 to 8 will enjoy decorating the capsule.

Egg Drop Lander
Educator Sheet
Children's Sheet
Using a raw egg , parachute material (trash bags, aluminum foil), packing material (gelatin, popcorn, newspaper), and masking tape, children ages 14 to 18 attempt to successfully land an egg on the surface of a newly discovered planet. As is, there are ties to basic physical science. This also can be done with younger children.

Lost in Space
Mars landing activity for children ages 7 to 11 that illustrates how difficult it is to hit a target. Children attempt to strike a suspended, spinning washer disk with small balls of paper towel

Shuttle Drag Parachute
Educator Sheet
Children's Sheet
Children ages 8 to 13 create a shuttle model and test the effects of a drag parachute on a Shuttle speed.

Crash not Smash
The X-38 will serve as the emergency return vehicle for the crew aboard the International Space Station. Children ages 10 to 13 construct and test a parafoil similar to the one that will be used for the X-38.

Parafoil with parachute
Educator Sheet
Children's Sheet
Children ages 12 to 16 make parachute and parafoil models to compare and contrast the aerodynamics of each.

Copter Capsule
Children ages 7 to 9 explore concepts of drag using a paper “Copter.” Paperclip “blades” help to create more drag and reduce the speed of the copter, similarly to the way that the Space Shuttle increases drag to slow itself down.

My Future Space Capsule
Children ages 5 to 9 draw and create a model of a future Space Shuttle.

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Last updated
January 21, 2005