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Lunar Lander Design Challenge

Design a lunar lander prototype.

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Grade Level 3-8


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Safely transport astronauts to the Moon

As part of NASA’s Artemis program, astronauts will soon be living and working on the Moon’s surface. But first, they’ll need to design a lander that can safely transport the astronauts to the surface so they can start building the base. Because the Moon has almost no atmosphere, a parachute won’t slow down cargo as it hurtles toward the surface. Instead, shock-absorbing landers will help bear the load and disperse the force of hitting the ground.

Teams of engineers working on the lander must work together from across the country and world to coordinate their projects. This kind of collaboration is a crucial, yet tricky skill.

Expand your science unit with our interactive Lunar Lander extension lesson. Students will work in teams to design a lunar lander that can safely and accurately deliver cargo to the surface of the Moon.

Then, integrate our post-lesson language arts/writing, math, and engineering activities.

While this lesson primarily focuses on engineering themes, it also integrates Earth and space science topics. This lesson and corresponding activities are designed to be used in both formal and informal education settings.

  • Apply aspects of the engineering cycle to create a prototype lunar lander

  • Understand the importance of good communication in working with team members at different locations

  • Enhance scientific vocabulary

  • Approximate program time: 1 hour

  • Pre- and post-lesson activities available

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned

  • Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aligned

In Partnership

Artemis World extension lessons are based upon work in partnership with Minecraft Education and NASA. Any opinions, findings, conclusions and/or recommendations expressed in this material are those of Challenger Center and do not necessarily reflect the views of Minecraft Education and/or NASA.