Nebula Background

Challenge 1:
Parachuting onto Mars

Students will work in a team to design, build, and test a drag device. Teams may only use materials provided, and must connect to a team-built cargo bay that is assembled using the template provided. The overall mass cannot exceed 50 grams. The drag device must have at least five separate angled edges (rounded edges are allowed, but one big circle is not allowed). The drag device must protect the weighted cargo bay when it is dropped from a height of 1, 2, and 3 meters. Final Product: Student teams will produce and submit a video featuring the steps of the engineering design process they followed to create their team drag device to slow the descent of a space craft or probe.

Students design and build a drag device to slow a spacecraft entry onto the Martian surface.
Grade Level:
Time Required:
Approximately 20 – 35 Hours

Plan Your Challenge

Educator Information [English] [Español]

Challenge Checklist [English] [Español]

Materials for Challenge [English] [Español]

Facilitators Guide [English] [Español]


Deliver Your Challenge

Presentation Slides [English] [Español]

Video Production [English] [Español]

Challenge Rubric [English] [Español]

Introductory Video for Students

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Tell your Story

Learn helpful video production tips and access the technical requirements and instructions for submitting videos.