# Starship Cruises

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```					NASAexplores 9-12 Lesson: Starship Cruises (Teacher Sheets)

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Starship Cruises
Teacher Sheet(s) Objective: To calculate the time of arrival for Starship cruises from the Earth to other planets in our solar system. Level: Subjects(s): Prep Time: Duration: Materials Category:
9-12 Mathematics, Physics, Technology Less than 10 minutes 30 minutes General Classroom

National Education Standards Science: Math: Technology (ISTE): Technology (ITEA): NGS Geography Standards: Materials: Student Sheets Calculators Related Links: NASA’s Starship 2040 NASA Genesis— Search For Origins NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) — Antimatter Propulsion NASA MSFC—Ion Propulsion
3d 2a 3, 11 1, 3, 18

Supporting NASAexplores Article(s): Starship 2040: Passport To The Future Pre-Lesson Instructions: Duplicate the Student Sheets (one per group). This activity uses the equation of motion from physics. You may want to review them before you begin this activity. The Student Sheets will have an abbreviated http://www.nasaexplores.com/show_912_teacher_st.php?id=030307132553 10/4/2006

NASAexplores 9-12 Lesson: Starship Cruises (Teacher Sheets) review of them. Background Information:

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The future of space travel to other planets may have more than one propulsion answer. One propulsion technique may be used to get your ship started, while another one is used to maintain the ship’s speed throughout the rest of the trip. For our purposes, we will assume that the Starship Cruiser uses an ion propulsion engine and an antimatter engine. The antimatter engine will provide the initial push for our Cruiser to leave a space station, since it can accelerate the ship in a relatively short amount of time. However, it is not the most efficient method for traveling over long distances. For the longer trips, we can use the ion engine to maintain the speed the antimatter engine gave it. The ion engine is much more efficient, but it has a very small acceleration rate. Once the ship has accelerated to its cruising speed, the antimatter drive will shut down, and the ion drive will take over. To find the time of arrival for our Cruiser, we will need to know several things. We need to know the total distance that we will be traveling. We also need to know the acceleration and cruising speed of our Cruiser. Knowing this, you can calculate the distance needed to accelerate to the cruising speed. You can calculate the time to accelerate to cruising speed and the time to travel the remaining distance. Adding the times together, you have the total time to travel from Earth to a specific planet. Guidelines:

1. Read orally the 9-12 NASAexplores article, “Starship 2040: Passport To 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
The Future.” Divide class into groups of three or four. Each group will determine the time of arrival of the Starship Cruiser from Earth to several planets in our solar system. Each group will determine the distance traveled using the data chart given. Using the information given on two possible propulsion techniques of the Cruiser, the groups will find the time to accelerate to their cruising speed. Knowing the distance and time to accelerate, they can determine the distance left to their destination. 10/4/2006

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NASAexplores 9-12 Lesson: Starship Cruises (Teacher Sheets)

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7. Combining their calculations, they can find the total time to travel to any
place in the Solar System. Discussion/Wrap-up: Discuss the possibilities of a starship being able to take passengers to other planets by the year 2040. Ask the students, “If you had a choice of going to the beach or the mountains on Earth, or to another planet, which would you choose? Why?” Answers to the questions: 2. Earth to Jupiter: 1.572 x 107 s, 262000 hours, 0.499 years 3. Jupiter to Venus: 1.675 x 107 s, 279166 hours, 0.532 years 4. Venus to Pluto: 1.451 x 108 s, 241833 hours, 4.61 years 5. Pluto to Saturn: 1.122 x 108 s, 1870000 hours, 3.56 years 6. Saturn to Earth: 3.194 x 107 s, 532333 hours, 1.01 years Extensions: Research other propulsion possibilities. Go to the Starship 2040 website and look at what they offer.

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NASAexplores 9-12 Lesson: Starship Cruises (Student Sheets)

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Starship Cruises
Student Sheet(s) Background Information The future of space travel to other planets may have more than one propulsion answer. One propulsion technique may be used to get your ship started, while another one is used to maintain the ship’s speed throughout the rest of the trip. For our purposes, we will assume that the Starship Cruiser uses an ion propulsion engine and an antimatter engine. The antimatter engine will provide the initial push for our Cruiser to leave a space station, since it can accelerate the ship in a relatively short amount of time. However, it is not the most efficient method for traveling over long distances. For the longer trips, we can use the ion engine to maintain the speed the antimatter engine gave it. The ion engine is much more efficient, but it has a very small acceleration rate. Once the ship has accelerated to its cruising speed, the antimatter drive will shut down, and the ion drive will take over. To find the time of arrival for our Cruiser, we will need to know several things. We need to know the total distance that we will be traveling. We also need to know the acceleration and cruising speed of our Cruiser. Knowing this, you can calculate the distance needed to accelerate to the cruising speed. You can calculate the time to accelerate to cruising speed and the time to travel the remaining distance. Adding the times together, you have the total time to travel from Earth to a specific planet. The Starship Cruiser travels from space station to space station. It does not actually travel into a planet’s atmosphere. For this activity, we will assume that every planet in our solar system has a space station that has docking for the Cruiser. For calculation purposes, the ion propulsion drive provides a speed of 40,000 meters per second [m/s] (about 88,000 miles per hour [mph]). To simplify the calculations, we will assume the ion propulsion engine provides a constant velocity for the Cruiser. Therefore, there is no acceleration once the antimatter drives shuts off. The antimatter drive will accelerate the Cruiser from resting to the cruising speed of 40,000 m/s. So that the passengers will not be put under too much stress, the antimatter drive will have not have an acceleration of greater than 3 Gs (this is the same acceleration on the shuttle during launch). The table below provides http://www.nasaexplores.com/show_912_student_st.php?id=030307132553 10/4/2006

NASAexplores 9-12 Lesson: Starship Cruises (Student Sheets) the distance of each planet from the Sun. You can assume the distance from space station to space station is the same as the distance from planet to planet. With the information given, you can solve for the time of flight for the Starship Cruiser for any trip in the solar system. Planet Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto Distance from Sun (meters) 5.79 x 1010 1.082 x 1011 1.496 x 1011 2.279 x 1011 7.783 x 1011 1.427 x 1012 2.87 x 1012 4.497 x 1012 5.914 x 1012

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To solve these problems, you need the equations of motion. Here is a quick review of them. The first one is: vf = vi + a t, where vf is the final velocity (m/s), vi is the initial velocity (m/s), a is the acceleration in meters per second squared (m/s2), and t is the time is seconds (s). The second one is: d = vi t + ½ a t2, where d is the distance traveled in meters (m) and the other variables are listed above. The third one is: vf2 = vi2 + 2 a d, where all of the variables are explained above. Use these equations to calculate the time of flight for each trip. Materials Calculator Procedure

1. With the equations of motion and the data provided in the
Background Information, determine the time of flight for each of the following trips. To get a better feel for how long the trip would be, convert all of your answers into hours. Hint: the distance and time to reach cruising speed will not change for each trip. The acceleration will always be 3-Gs, or 29.4 m/s2.

2. You want to travel from the Earth to Jupiter.
You send an e-mail to the Starship Cruiselines asking about the length of the trip. What would their reply be?

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NASAexplores 9-12 Lesson: Starship Cruises (Student Sheets)

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3. You have enjoyed your stay on Jupiter, but
you want to see how the clouds of Venus compare to the clouds of Jupiter. You check the listings for flights from Venus to Jupiter. How long is the flight?

4. Venus was a little too hot for you. Wanting
to cool off, you head towards Pluto. On your way there, you realize you forgot to ask how long it takes. As the flight attendant floats by, you ask him/her how long the trip is. What is his/her answer?

5. Your stay at Pluto was rather dull. Before you
go home, you want to see something exciting. You pay for your ticket to Saturn. How long will this trip be?

6. You have enjoyed your vacation but it is time
to go home. Leaving Saturn, you make your way to Earth. You are exhausted from your trip, so you want to relax as much as possible. How much time do you have until you reach Earth?

7. Answer the following questions: a. Does this seem to be a practical way of getting around the solar
system? b. Do you think this is possible by the year 2040? c. What are some of the assumptions we had to make so the calculations

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Starship 2040: Passport To The Future
Maybe you’re traveling on an important business trip, or perhaps you’re finally getting away for that vacation you’ve been planning for so long. After coming on board, you made your way to your seat, which is locked safely in the upright position, and buckled yourself in. Finally, it’s time for departure, and you feel the craft start to move as the antimatter drive kicks in. Next stop—Jupiter! Welcome to Starship 2040—a mix of a little bit of airliner, a little bit of cruiseliner, and a whole lot of the future. Starship 2040 is a traveling exhibit created at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to show what a “spaceliner” might be like 40 years from now. But, while the concept may sound like science fiction, the exhibit is rooted firmly in factual science. Starship 2040 is a unique solution to an unusual problem faced by NASA—How do you explain the importance of developing technology that may be decades away from becoming a reality? “It’s hard to get the public to understand something so far out,” said John Dumoulin, a member of the Starship team at Marshall. “So, we got the idea of painting the future for them.” He explained that Starship 2040 represents the hypothetical “final product” of the research being done by NASA’s Space Launch Initiative (SLI), which is developing the technology for future generations of spacecraft. Developing the exhibit required quite a bit of creativity on the part of the designers to think through exactly how space travel will change in almost half a century. Although the exhibit was created by NASA, the future starship it depicts is not a NASA spacecraft. Instead, it’s a commercial vehicle operated by a private company, just like the airlines of today. Speakers in the exhibit allow visitors to overhear conversations between the crew of the spacecraft and its computers, since NASA engineers believe that such a craft would likely have to have a small crew and rely heavily on automated systems. Likewise, a navigation control station in the exhibit was later modified into a spacecraft systems monitoring station when the designers decided that much of the “driving” would actually be run by computers.

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Starship 2040 designers also incorporated into the exhibit such features as a bathroom (combining modern space toilet technology with a vending concept) and a galley where passengers could get food, drinks, and snacks. Since passengers cruising through the solar system would spend long periods of time in their craft, Starship 2040 even features exercise equipment that people would be able to use to stay in shape while exposed to microgravity to help them keep their “land-legs” for when they eventually return to Earth. The Starship 2040 exhibit is designed to help visitors understand the vastness of space, even just in our solar system, and the new methods of travel we will have to develop in order to cross those distances. In this particular area, Starship 2040 reflects the work of the SLI programs, one of the focuses of which is advanced propulsion concepts. Consoles in the exhibit show the status of a number of propulsion drives, indicating how such things as antimatter, nuclear fusion, laser-based propulsion, or ion drives, among others, could be used to propel a passenger and cargo spacecraft through the solar system. “Chemical propellants have mass. If you want to go much past Mars with a large spaceship, with chemical propellants (like today’s rockets), you just can’t carry enough of it. Every time you add more propellant to carry the mass, you add more mass!” Dumoulin said. Visitors to the exhibit are encouraged to brainstorm about other changes that may develop by the time a spaceliner like Starship 2040 becomes a reality, using modern technology as a starting point for what may someday be. Children, in particular, are encouraged to think about why they themselves may one day be traveling through the solar system, since the exhibit theorizes that this may actually happen within their lifetime. “We try to get them to picture themselves in their future,” Dumoulin said.

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So even if you can’t buy tickets to Mars today, you can at least know that scientists are already working on the technology for you to take an out-of-this world cruise in the decades to come. Courtesy of NASA's