Electronics- Wiki Entry 1
There are many terms used when using electronics including analog signals, digital signals, semiconductors, diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits. Analog signals are much different from digital signals. Analog signals are signals that are used in TV’s, telephones, radios, and VCRs. The signals process and transmit information that is in the form of an analog signal. This type of signal is a signal that varies, up and down, but smoothly and slowly. Electronic analog signals are the most common, although other things such as a person’s temperature changes smoothly and slowly and tells whether or not someone is healthy. Digital signals are signals that don’t vary smoothly, instead changes in jumps or steps. If each jump is represented by a number, the digital signals can be seen as a series of numbers. A CD player is a common example of an electronic device which uses digital signals. Another common word used while dealing with electronics is semiconductor which is useful in electronic devices. They are useful in many different ways, but mostly because they have a special property that ordinary conductors and insulators lack- their electrical conductivity which can be controlled by adding impurities. Two different kinds of impurities that can be added are gallium and arsenic. Diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits are also used in electronics. Diodes are used for converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). Diodes are used for this because they allow current to flow in only one direction. A transistor is a solid-state component that can be used to amplify signals in an electric circuit. Lastly, integrated circuits are made up of a large number of connected solid-state components. It is made into a single chip of semiconductor such as silicon. They are made to store up to a million transistors so not much room is taken up. Overall, there are many different terms that are used with electronics, which all have a big role in the building of electronics.

A trip to Mars in a space ship flying faster than most people could imagine would still take about two years. No one could nearly supply enough food for a trip like that. This is one reason why electronic devices would be helpful, for growing food. In order for food to grow soil, seeds, water, and sunlight are needed. These can all be supplied except for the sunlight. The U-V rays of the sun can almost be replicated by a certain lamp. The lamp would require lots of electronics to make because it would need to last long, be bright enough, and provide the same kind of light. One of the most important electronics would be robots. No human has ever gone to Mars before so a robot would be needed to walk on Mar’s surface. The robot would need to be able to move over bumpy surfaces, measure temperature, see (video camera), and pick up stuff. The video camera would be extremely important so any movement would be detected. Lastly, it would be important to have a spaceship, as well as operating switches, gears, gadgets, etc. for the interior and exterior of the spaceship. All this is just some of what would be needed to take a two year trip to Mars.

Rocket History- Wiki Entry 2


In the past millenniums, rockets have evolved greatly. The Hero Engine was one of the first successful devices to have the principals of rocket flight. The Hero Engine used steam as a propulsive gas. It is a sphere on top of a water kettle and a fire below the water kettle which turns the water into steam. The gas travels through the tubes into the sphere. There are two L-shaped tubes on opposite sides of the sphere which allows the gas to escape and for the sphere to thrust and rotate. The Chinese used rockets to create explosions at religious festivals. They used simple gunpowder composed of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal dust. The Chinese started using these rockets by attaching them to arrows and using them in warfare including against the Mongols in 1232. This new invention was called “arrows of flying fire”.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s greatest contribution to modern rocketry was his idea of using rockets for space exploration. He thought of using liquid propellants for greater range. He was soon named the “father of modern astronautics”. Goddard’s most famous achievement had to do with liquid-propellant rockets. He found out that no one had ever achieved a successful flight with a liquid-propellant rocket. He achieved this on March 16, 1926 with a rocket fueled by liquid oxygen and gasoline. It only flew for two and a half seconds and went as high as 12.5 meters. Although it didn’t meet most expectations, it was the base of modern rockets. The German rocket society, the Verein fur Raumschiffahrt (Society for Space Travel) developed the V-2 rocket. They made the rocket for World War II against London. Lastly, NASA was formed to follow in the Soviet Union’s path and send satellites out into space. It was soon created and took the name of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It became an agency with a goal of peaceful exploration of space for the benefit of all humankind.

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Rocket Stages Animation

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Rocket Structure- Wiki Entry 3

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Rocket Experiment- Wiki Entry 4

The mass of the rocket didn't appear to affect the altitude of the rocket. The graph had a no relationship line which meant that the altitude didn't increase or decrease depending on the mass. The rocket which the most mass weighed 46.6 grams and flew between 80 and 100 meters up. Six of eight rockets flew between 80 and 100 meters, which shows that the heavier the rocket is doesn't make it fly higher or lower. The lightest rocket weighed 41.9 grams and also flew between 80 and 100 meters, which shows that the lighter the rocket doesn't affect how high it flies.

The purpose of this experiment was to test whether the mass of a rocket affects how high it flies. The experiment was performed with a rocket, angle gun, trundle wheel, rocket holder, electric ignition, and goggles. Two people used the trundle wheel to measure out 100 meters. They stood there and pointed an angle gun at the rocket, while pulling the trigger. The rocket was placed on the rocket holder and goggles were placed on the people igniting the igniter. Alligator clips were clipped on two metal wires connected to the igniter. The alligator clips were connected to a wire which connected to the electric ignition. The electric ignition was pressed after counting down. The rocket flew up in the air and the two people holding the angle gun kept pointing it at the rocket. When the rocket reached its highest point, its apogee, the two people with the angle gun let go of the trigger. The angle gun gave an accurate measurement of one of the angles of the triangle. Trigonometry was then used in find the altitude of the rocket. The equation to find the altitude is 100*tan(angle)=altitude. The results of the experiment were that the weight of the rocket didn't affect the height it flew. My hypothesis was wrong because I said that the weight of the rocket would affect the height of the rocket.

The rocket twisted in the air but kept flying straight up. It ended up on the baseball dugout and broke. To make the rocket sturdier, a more durable wood could have been used for the fins and more superglue should have been put on. The painting of the rocket didn't affect the rocket's flight, but brighter colors helped find the rocket in the woods.

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The Importance of Astronomy In the Search for Life on Mars

My thoughts on the importance of astronomy in the search for Life on Mars.


Astronomy is important in all space travel because it is used to identify planets and navigate from planet to planet. If a space shuttle from Earth wants to travel to Mars, astronomy would be extremely helpful for navigation purposes. The Earth is moving at one speed, while Mars is moving at a different speed. The two planets are also in different places. Astronomy is the study of the planets and their orbits. It would be used to calculate the time of departure and position of the rocket. Overall, astronomy would help make sure that the space shuttle landed safely on the surface of Mars.

To learn more about astronomy go to this link: more about astronomy

History of Robotics

The History of Robotics is a progressing idea which started in B.C. time and is still evolving today. In 350 B.C., a Greek mathematician, named Archytas, built a mechanical bird named “The Pigeon” which is propelled by steam. Later, another Greek inventor named, Ctesibus, created water clocks that had movable figures inside of them.

More than 1,500 years later Leonardo DaVinci creates a mechanical knight. The mechanical devices inside are made to make the knight look like it is holding a real person inside. Lastly, in 2004, a robot rover, named Spirit, landed on Mars. The progression between robot birds and robot dogs that are durable enough and smart enough to walk around on Mars is monumental. Hopefully, this technology will keep evolving to the human kinds use.

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Wiki Entry 7- Programming Robots
Most robots consist of many confusing sensors, motors, and parts which help it move. One of a robots main way of movement is by motors. Motors can be programmed to move in all sorts of directions that help it go around different obstacles. Motors help robots move forward, backward, accelerate, brake, coast, turn, etc. Some disadvantages to having motors control a robot is that the motors have one set course. A challenge of this is that the programming could be different than what it needs to be in order to complete an obstacle. There is one set course and the motor can’t change its direction in the middle of a course.
Picture of a Motor Program
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Another way a robot can move around is by a sensor. A sensor is a device which detects different objects, sounds, lights, etc. They are used for sensing something and then doing some action because of that sound, object, or light. There is a sound sensor which detects sound and a light sensor which detects light. An ultrasonic sensor senses an object in front of it and a touch sensor senses an object when it runs into it. A sound sensor can detect different pitches of sound and a light sensor can detect different colors as well as darkness and light. Overall, motors and sensors are both good ways to control and move a robot even though they are extremely different.
Picture of a Sensor Program
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Wiki Entry 8- Characteristics of Life and Detecting Life on other Planets

There are eight characteristics a living thing must possess in order to be identified as living. Living things need to have these characteristics: made of cells, need materials, homeostatic, respond to stimuli, reproduce, grow, adapted, and respiration. To be made of cells means to have fundamental units of living things. There are animal cells, plant cells, and bacteria cells. Living things need materials like water, minerals, and air. They take what they need from the environment. Next, living things need to be homeostatic which means to stay the same despite environmental changes. Responding to stimuli is also essential to being alive. Stimulus is anything that causes living things to react. Response is the reaction to a stimulus. A living thing can react positively, move towards the stimulus, or negatively, moves away from the stimulus. Reproducing is also essential to being alive. To reproduce is the process by which organisms produce offspring of their own kind. The sixth characteristic of a living thing is the ability to grow. All things grow from a lower or simpler to a higher or more complex form. All living things also have to adapt to its surroundings. To adapt means to make modifications that make an organism suited to its way of life. Lastly, a living thing must have respiration. To have respiration means to release energy stored in chemical bonds of sugars.

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To detect life on other planets, we would have to identify if something had the eight characteristics of a living thing. First, you would have to obtain the object and place it in a different environment to see whether it adapts to it or not. You would have to use high tech microscopes to identify if it is made of cells or not. Next, it would not stay alive if it didn’t have materials and was a living thing. It would need to be homeostatic as well as respond to stimuli. Its response could be positive or negative. It would need to reproduce whether it was sexual reproduction or asexual reproduction. It would need to grow into an embryo, newborn, child, adolescent, or adult. Lastly, it would need to have respiration which could be tested by seeing if the organism must take food to sustain life or if it creates its own food.

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