Welcome to the midterm project research guide for Astronomy! On this page you will find instructions for your midterm project assignment. Check the other tabs for suggested resources and research assistance.
Midterm Assignment - Research Components
Background – A large asteroid was discovered on a collision course with the Earth. The asteroid is too large to divert. Fortunately, the asteroid will not strike the Earth until 2039. However, once it does strike, the Earth will be uninhabitable for approximately 10 years.
Objectives – You and your team will evaluate potential candidate worlds to relocate a small group of designated survivors who can eventually return to the Earth. The selection of designated survivors requires political decisions that are outside the scope of this assignment.
Assignment Part 1 (75 points) - Each team member will select a different world (planet or moon within our solar system or outside of our solar system) for study. You are to prepare a one-page single line summary with a minimum of one sentence per bullet item of these and any other factors that you think will affect the success of the mission.
• Distance from Earth
• Travel time using conventional rockets to the off-world location
• Climate of the off-world
• Surface gravity of off-world location
• Strength of magnetic field of off-world location to protect from solar radiation
• Potential building materials on the off-world
• Sources of water
• Sources of energy
• Estimated food supplies needed assuming 2,000 calories / person / day
• Estimated supplemental food grown using a greenhouse with the available sunlight
Part 2 (50 points) – You and your team need to evaluate each of the candidate planets or moons to find the best option to send the designated survivors. Tools for collaboration will be provided on Blackboard. You are to prepare a one page single line evaluation for your team selection of the planet or moon with the greatest chance of success for travel, and the skills needed by your team of designated survivors. List the names of those who participated in this assignment with the percent of effort of each member if there was not an equal participation rate.
Group Mission Plan
• Using each of the individual off-world summaries, determine as a team which has the best chance of success. You will need to provide a rationale for your selection using the off-world summaries developed in Part 1 of this assignment.
• Prepare a list of skills needed for the team of designated survivors.
Megan Mamolen, PhD, MLIS
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