AE Unit 7: Physiology & Society

Investigating how air and space travel impact people and society

PHYSIOLOGY & SOCIETY OVERVIEW

We’ve already learned how basic aerodynamics works from a physics perspective, so now it’s time to consider how flight impacts people’s bodies and the way they get along.  We need to know how people’s bodies react to different aspects of flight so that we can design aircraft that can be piloted well and sustain long-term travel.  In addition, we need to understand the impact of increased space travel on the interactions between people. In this unit you should learn:

  • The physiological factors that need to be considered for pilots and travelers
  • The laws governing space and the impact of human travel in space
  • How to plan for long-term space travel

While there are many biology and anatomy classes that go into the details of human physiology, we’ll start with the basics of human perception and physiological systems. In this unit, you’ll go through three major steps:

  • STEP 1: Work with a team to collect your own perception data
  • STEP 2: Investigate the size of the universe, space junk, and space law
  • STEP 3: Work with your team to plan a Mars Mission

When you’re all done, you’ll have a good perspective on the factors that play into planning decisions for manned flight and missions in space!

PART 1: PERCEPTION

(10 pts) About 3 days

The next part of this unit looks to space.  We’ll start by briefly exploring just how big the solar system and universe really are.  Then we’ll talk about space junk and the quantity of things we have put into orbit.  Finally, we’ll think about some key elements of laws in space and how society gets along when there aren’t any physical borders!

PART 2: DESIGNING

(20 pts)  About 2 days

Once your wiring works and is soldered, your next job is to brainstorm the design of your Bug Bot.  Think about the tools and materials we have available; then decide what you want to build.  You need to take some time (about 30 minutes) and make a careful drawing of the Bug Bot you want to build!

PART 3: MALEMUTE MARS MISSION

(30 pts) About 4 days

This unit is the first of five that together will make the Malemute Mars Mission!  In Phase 1, your team needs to plan for a group of astronauts that will travel from Earth to Mars, stay on Mars for an extended time, and then return to Earth.  Your plan will develop throughout the semester, and will conclude with a rocket launch as your astronauts leave for Mars!

Part 1: Perception

Learn about how your own perception would impact your skills as a pilot

Perception Overview

As this unit gets started, we’ll be looking at a variety of human perception variables.  Your job will be to work with your team through each station and measure the corresponding variable for each person.  In the end, you’ll add your data to the shared Aerospace Spreadsheet.  We’ll then be able to make some cool graphs and draw some neat conclusions about how we need to consider human perception in the design of air and space craft.

GRADING & PROCESS

Take 1 full page of notes on the various perception measurements we’ll use

Collect perception data for all team members

 Look through the shared results and write some conclusions in your engineering notebook

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your data collection & analysis

What’s Due In Part 1: Perception

  • Perception Notes
  • Perception Data
  • Data Analysis
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Wiring

  1. Take a full page of careful notes on how quadcopters fly
  2. Collect perception data on all team members
  3. Analyze perception data and look for patterns; write a conclusion in your engineering notebook
  4. Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your data collection & analysis

Part 2: Space

Considering how society interacts with space

Orbits Diagram

Space is a pretty big place, and as human society gets closer and closer to spending time in space, it’s important that we understand how our impact has grown in recent decades. Not only do people have to be able to comprehend the magnitude of sizes in the universe, they also need to get along.  A set of laws exist to govern societies in space to help facilitate that.  In this part of the unit, you’ll learn about three key topics: the size of the universe, laws in space, and the increase in space junk.  

GRADING & PROCESS

Take careful notes on the size of the universe

 Take careful notes on space law

 Take careful notes on space junk

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your notes

Size of the Universe

 

Space Law

Space Junk

What’s Due In Part 2: Space

  • Universe
  • Space Law
  • Space Junk
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation

Here’s what’s due in Part 2: Space

  1. Take careful notes on the size of the universe
  2. Take careful notes on space law
  3. Take careful notes on space junk
  4. Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your space notes

Part 3: Malemute Mars Mission

Plan a mission from Earth to Mars

Malemute Mars Mission

When people travel in space for extended periods of time, their bodies are impacted by the lack of gravity.  In particular, a wide range of physiological systems need to be considered such as the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal systems of the astronauts.  This becomes increasingly difficult as astronauts are in space for longer and longer stretches of time.

For this final part of the unit, you and your team will design a mission plan for a crew of 12 astronauts to travel to Mars.  This 27-month journey will take them from Earth to Mars, spend some time on Mars, and then return to Earth.  The shuttle design will happen later, right now your team’s job is to design the systems and parameters for the mission that will keep your team happy and healthy.  You’ll need to research and consider different physiological systems and how to maintain them during the journey.  You’ll also need to consider what tools and structures need to be in place both on the shuttle and on the surface of Mars.

GRADING & PROCESS

 Take detailed notes on your chosen physiological system

 Work with your team to select your crew and justify your choices

 Design the systems for the shuttle and the Mars base

 Create a complete description of your systems

 Complete mission planning report

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your mission plan

 For teams with time, create a small model of what your system might look like!

Physiological Systems

Crew Selection

Systems Design

What’s Due In Part 3: Malemute Mars Mission

  • Physiological Systems
  • Crew Selection
  • Systems Design
  • Systems Description
  • Planning Report
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation
  • Model Construction
Here’s what’s due in Part 3: Malemute Mars Mission

  1.  Take detailed notes on your chosen physiological system
  2.  Work with your team to select your crew and justify your choices
  3.  Design the systems for the shuttle and the Mars base
  4.  Create a complete description of your systems
  5.  Complete mission planning report
  6.  Have Mr. Benshoof confirm of your mission plan
  7. For teams with time, create a small model of what your system might look like!

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to give us a chance to think about how the human body changes when it’s in flight both in the air and in space.  We look at the role human perception plays in designing aircraft, and the role that various body systems play in space flight.  In addition, we get to consider the way that people interact with space as we study the magnitude of distances in space, various space laws, and the increasing amount of space junk that needs to be dealt with.

Engineering Notebook:

(Part 1) You should have taken a full page of notes on the perception measurements we’ll use, and you should have also written a reflection on our class’s combined data.

(Part 2) You should have taken detailed notes on the size of the universe, space law, and space junk

(Part 3) You should have taken a full page of careful notes on your selected physiological system

 (Part 3) You should have recorded your team’s systems design for your Mars mission – including timelines, equipment, and relevant sketches

Building & Making:

(Part 1) You should have collected and shared all the perception data for your team

(Part 3) You should have designed a shuttle system as well as a Mars base system for helping keep your astronaut crew healthy

(Part 3) You should have described your life support system components with drawings, diagrams, models, or a presentation

Checkpoints & Quizzes:

(Part 1) Mr. Benshoof should have confirmed your team’s data colleciton and your individual data analysis

(Part 2) Mr. Benshoof should have checked-off your space notes

(Part 3) Mr. Benshoof should have confirmed your team’s mission plan and description