SPACE EXPLORATION


A new version of the merit badge pamphlet for this merit badge, with some revised requirements, was issued during 2004 after the 2004 edition of BOY SCOUT REQUIREMENTS was issued.

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Click here for the previous requirements


  1. Tell the purpose of space exploration including and include the following:
    1. Historical reason reasons,
    2. Immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge,
    3. Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products.
  2. Design a collector's card, with a picture on the front and information on the back, about your favorite space pioneer. Share your card and discuss four other space pioneers with your counselor.
    Tell about main steps in humanity's movement into space and tell about the contributions of these individuals:
    • Jules Verne,
    • K.E. Tsiolkovsky,
    • Robert Goddard,
    • Hermann Oberth, and
    • Wernher von Braun.
  3. Build, launch, and recover a model rocket.* Make a second launch to accomplish a specific objective. (Rocket must be built to meet the safety code of the National Association of Rocketry. See the "Model Rocketry" chapter) Identify and explain the following rocket parts:
    1. Body tube
    2. Engine mount
    3. Fins
    4. Igniter
    5. Launch lug
    6. Nose cone
    7. Payload
    8. Recovery system
    9. Rocket engine
  4. Discuss and demonstrate each of the following:
    1. The law of action-reaction.
    2. How rocket engines work
    3. How satellites stay in orbit
    4. How satellite pictures of the Earth and pictures of other planets are made and transmitted.
  5. Discuss what has been learned about the Moon and planets by manned and unmanned spacecraft exploration and the possible benefits of new knowledge. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Construct a data table of recent information about the planets. For each planet, give important facts, including distance from the sun, period of revolution, rotation, number of moons, etc.
      Discuss with your counselor an unmanned space exploration mission and an early manned mission. Tell about each mission's major discoveries, its importance, and what we learned from it about the planets, moons, or regions of space explored.
    2. Make a scrapbook of magazine photographs and news clippings about planetary research.
      Using magazine photographs, news clippings, and electronic articles (such as from the Internet), make a scrapbook about a current planetary mission.
    3. Design a spacecraft that will be sent on a mission to another planet to take samples of its surface and return them to Earth/ Name the planet your spacecraft will visit; and, in your design, show how your spacecraft will work and cope with the environment of that plant.
      Design an unmanned mission to another planet or moon that will return samples of its surface to Earth. Name the planet or moon your spacecraft will visit. Show how your design will cope with the conditions of the planet's or moon's environment.
  6. Describe the purpose and operation of the space shuttle. Discuss ONE of the following:
    1. Space shuttle Main components
    2. International Space Station Typical mission profile
    3. Payloads
  7. Design an Earth-orbiting space station inhabited base located on the Moon or Mars. Make drawings or a model of your station base. Within In your design, consider and plan for the following:
    1. Source of energy
    2. How it will be constructed
    3. Life-support systems system
    4. Purpose and function
  8. Discuss with your counselor two possible careers in space exploration that interest you. Find out the qualifications, education, and preparation required and discuss the major responsibilities of those positions..

    * If local laws prohibit the launching of model rockets, do the following activity: Make a model of a NASA rocket. Explain the functions of the parts. Give the history of the rocket.


BSA Advancement ID#: 107
Pamphlet Revision Date: 2004
Requirements last revised in 2004


Page updated on: April 16, 2012



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