Space Shuttle

The Space Shuttle is a reusable, aerospace vehicle that takes off like a rocket, maneuvers in orbit like a space craft, and lands like an airplane. It is launched into Earth orbit to deploy various types of satellites and to conduct experiments in space. The Shuttle has four major parts: the orbiter, the solid rocket booster (two of them), the external tank, and the set of three Space Shuttle main engines in the rear of the orbiter. Only the orbiter and the main engines go into the Earth orbit. The other parts are for liftoff and powered flight. Experiments are conducted on each Shuttle flight which in some way will help everyone out on Earth. These experiments are tested in space and the results are brought back to earth and put to use.

Living in Space

Astronauts living in space do most of the same things they would do on Earth. They eat, sleep, and attend to personal hygiene everyday. Eating and sleeping in space is different because of "weightlessness." The astronauts have to be careful with their food or it will float away. The different forms of food taken on a shuttle mission include Dehydrated (freeze-dried), thermostabilized cans and sealed pouches, intermediate moisture, natural form, and fresh. Just by adding hot or cold water an astronaut can enjoy a delicious chicken dinner. When sleeping an astronaut must have themselves strapped to their bed. If not, they will float away because there is no gravity in space. Also, Astronauts brush their teeth, take sponge baths, and go to the bathroom in space. The waste is stored in a container and brought back to Earth for proper disposal. As you can see, Astronauts conduct themselves exactly as we do on Earth on a day to day basics.

Space Shuttle Construction Activity

With the growing concern for the environment, recycling has become a big part of our lives. Recycling is the reprocessing of certain products. These products include: plastic, glass, paper and metal (mostly aluminum). Recycling impacts technology, society, and the environment in every day life.

During this activity each student will construct a space shuttle by reusing everyday products. Through this lesson the students will gain a knowledge of the importance of recycling and the terminology, concepts, and components of a space shuttle.

Materials: (For one project)


  1. Cut two wings from the top of an egg carton.
  2. Tape the wings to the side of the 2-liter plastic bottle.
  3. Cut out an "egg well" from the carton and tape the it to the bottom of the cup to round off the flat surface.
  4. Tape the cup over the neck of the bottle. If the neck is to long for a good fit, trim it off a bit.
  5. Cut out a vertical tail stabilizer for the model from the egg cartoon and tape it onto the bottle.
  6. Cover the model with papier-mache'. Narrow strips of newspaper are easier to work with.
  7. Let the papier-mache' dry and add additional layers of papier-mache' for strength.
  8. Cut three egg wells to make engines for the space shuttle.
  9. Cover each egg well with papier-mache' and let stand to dry.
  10. When the body of the space shuttle and the engines are dry, glue the engines to the tail end of the model.
  11. Paint the model and add decals and other decorations when dry.