Classroom Activity

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Key Topics: Equations of Motion, Graphs of Motion

This problem focuses on the FDO flight controller and on the ascent of the space shuttle. Students will use integration techniques as they analyze an acceleration-time graph to determine velocity and displacement.

Students will:
  • interpret and construct graphs of motion based on a space shuttle launch from ascent to orbit; and
  • apply integration techniques to evaluate acceleration, speed, and distance along a flight trajectory.

> Space Shuttle Launch Motion Analysis Educator Edition (PDF 351 KB)
> Space Shuttle Launch Motion Analysis Student Edition (PDF 178 KB)

Required Media
> VIDEO: STS-121 Launch
> Google Earth Space Shuttle Ascent Trajectory Tour (KMZ 21 KB)  (Note: This file requires Google Earth to be installed on the users computer. The application is available for download at →.)

Related Resources
> VIDEO: STS 132 Interview: Marc Abadie (FDO Flight Controller)
> VIDEO: NASA EDGE Tribute to the Space Shuttle