Tinkering School

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"She's Never Been to Space Before!"

Lindsay Jones

Today we thought we'd see if we could do a better job than the ESA with putting a lander on a comet.  We figured one day of tinkering would be enough to figure it out. We were even so confident in our skills that we decided we might as well create the comet while we were at it! After tool training we divided up into Lander and Comet teams and went to the drawing boards.

Teia gets to know the chopsaw.

Lauren and Piper use their precision eye to calculate some angles.

Design/Snack time may have influenced the name of the lander.

Comet team didn't want things to be too easy for Fillet, so we decided its surface should be rolling. We figured a ramp would be the easiest way to roll the comet. Now we had a ramp and a comet to make!

Comet team gets ready to cut the door skin in half.

Ella takes a turn using the skilsaw to cut a straight line.

Francesca curves her corner through the bandsaw while the rest of the team supports the weight.

The team attaches supports to keep our comet skelton in 3D.

Finally we cover up all of our tricky, hard work with recycling, hopefully to help it roll.

Ramp team gets the back structure screwed together.

Ella, Laura, Simone and Mel attach the first vertical supports!

Lila and Ella drill pilot holes for the sliding surface!

Meanwhile the Lander team has been hard at work:

Lauren and Ananya team up to get some screws in.

Lauren, Ananya and Sarah start assembling parts!

The team contemplates how to connect the two frames.

Lauren cuts lander appendages on the bandsaw.

Legs and camouflage are attached!

Fillet is complete with a few more message uploads!

When the two teams are ready Fillet and the comet are both sent into orbit!

The first landing attempt fails due to comet deceleration.

A few quick computations from mission control and the ramp adjustments are made! With a few more runs we meet (and dare I say?) exceed the ESA's accomplishment and land Fillet on the comet with a bounce or two and our harpoons functioning!

Mission Fillet Lander from Tinkering School on Vimeo.

We accomplished great things here today with girls of all ages working together and figuring out complicated problems!  We heard a lot of stories from their day and the parents received excited tours of our mission headquarters. Hopefully we'll receive some stories from Fillet as it orbits past us too.

Thanks for your hard work Tinkerers!

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