Mission: Solar System – Invisible Force | Design Squad

Mission: Solar System – Invisible Force | Design Squad


Hi, I’m Deysi fromDesign Squad,and I’m here with
Eleanor and Reed and we’re having fun
with gravity. Gravity is a force that
is present in all things. We use the invisible force
of gravity to change the direction of
speeding objects all the time. NASA uses it too. When a spacecraft passes a moon
or a planet, they both exert a gravitational pull
on one another. NASA engineers use
this gravitational pull to change the direction of a
spacecraft, increase the speed, or both change the direction
and increase the speed. This is called a gravity assist. Like gravity, magnets also exert
an invisible force. Our mission today is to use
the invisible force of magnets to control how a ball rolls
without ever touching the ball. We’ve got a steel marble. A magnet. A paper cup
that has a notch in it. An index card… folded in half to act
as our ramp, and this will be Mars. ELEANOR: So let’s put Mars
maybe over here. So then we would have to
make this path instead of going straight,
to curve like that. So we’re going to have to place
the magnet somewhere to alter the course
of this marble. DAISY: We also have a piece
of rope that we’ll use to keep the ball
from flying off the table. REED:
Maybe there. ELEANOR:
Yeah. Can we try it? Yup. ELEANOR:
No. The magnet didn’t really move
the course of our steel ball. Maybe we could move this
a little closer. So we don’t want the ball to get
too close to the magnet. ELEANOR:
Oh, that was close. That moved it a little bit. REED:
That was pretty close. What if we tried to do something
with the magnet. The steel ball tends to get
attracted towards the middle of the magnet. DAISY:
A little too close. We’re getting there. Oh, there it goes. Wait, try it again. There you go. Good job. (laughter) What I notice is that when
the ball goes down the ramp, it always goes in a straight
line unless a different force acts against it to slow it down
or change its course. That’s actually
Newton’s First Law. Now, we’re going to change
the direction of a rolling ball. But this time the invisible
force is stream of air coming from these… leaf blowers. Make sure you get
an adult’s permission before you use a leaf blower. Ready? Goal! For the directions
on how to make this, and to see lots more activities related
to NASA’s missions, visit theDesign Squadwebsite. Eleanor, are you ready? Yes. Reed, are you ready? Yes. Start your engines. And go!

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