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The Kid Should See This

Egg Drop From Space

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The Egg Drop is a fantastic physics and engineering challenge for all ages: Design a container that will protect your raw egg during a fall and crash landing.

Sometimes you’re dropping the egg from just a few feet off the ground. Sometimes eggs are dropped from the second floor of a building. But what if you’re dropping your egg to the ground from space?

In this Egg Drop Challenge, Mark Rober and a team of friends and colleagues join together to figure out how they can protect an egg from what Rober hopes will remain the highest egg drop height for years to come.

filling the weather balloon
The video is packed with a lot of science and engineering, including quite a few fails that require redesigns. Note: It also includes one bleep (at 11m20s) and a commercial message for Rober’s science kit company (at 25m15s).

Special guests on this ambitious project include Joe Barnard of BPS Space, NASA JPL engineer Adam Steltzner, and NASA JPL systems engineer Allen Chen.

calculating terminal velocity
Bonus: Learn a bit more about terminal velocity, how weather and winds are predicted, how hot air balloons are steered, and how to persevere in the face of fail after fail.

Mark, Joe, and the failed rocket
What needs to happen for this eggsperiment to work? From MSI Chicago:

“Gravity is a force of attraction — it pulls on a mass, which is how much “stuff” something is made of. Earth’s gravity pulls on you and keeps you on the ground; it also holds the atmosphere and the moon in place. When you drop your landing craft, gravity pulls it to the ground.”

back up egg drop

“The internal padding that surrounds your egg cushions the payload inside the container, like airbags in a car that protect passengers in an accident. The external protection on the outside of the container protects the egg by absorbing the impact felt when the landing craft hits the ground.”

…but from space, or more specifically from over a hundred thousand feet. Rober explains: “That’s 19 miles up and two and a half times higher than a typical commercial plane flies.” How will they do it?

equipment coming down

• MSI Chicago’s Egg Drop Challenge.
• Science World’s Egg Drop Challenge.
• Bombs Away! Egg Drop Experiment a Teach Engineering activity for grades 5-7.
• Northeastern’s Egg Drop Curriculum for grades 3-12.

Related videos on TKSST include:
Where does Space begin?
Complete MSL Curiosity Descent Interpolated HD
• Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128k
• Hello Kitty goes to space
Oobleck Egg vs Wall, a twist on the egg drop experiment
• What is the slinky drop?
• The Hammer-Feather Drop in the world’s biggest vacuum chamber

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