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TRAINING FOR A NEW SPACECRAFT – MOMENT OF INERTIA
 
Physics

Key Topics: Moment of Inertia

The Water Egress and Survival Trainer (WEST) is a replica of Orion, NASA’s next generation spacecraft. WEST is used in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory so astronauts can perform what is called egress training, which provides the skills required to exit a vehicle after landing. In this activity, students will evaluate one of many critical properties that must be understood in order to effectively simulate every possible egress scenario following capsule splashdown in any sea state by using their knowledge of physics and moment of inertia.

Students will
  • derive an expression to determine the moment of inertia (MOI) of the Water Egress and Survival Trainer (WEST);
  • relate the period of a torsional pendulum to rotational inertia; and
  • explain the engineering behind the experimental set-up designed to measure the MOI of WEST.


DOWNLOADS
› Training For a New Spacecraft – Moment of Inertia Educator Edition (PDF 332 KB)
› Training For a New Spacecraft – Moment of Inertia Student Edition (PDF 290 KB)

Related Resources:
› VIDEO: Orion MPCV: The Journey Begins