Tag Archives: Problem Solving

A Real Engineering Story – Engineering Wheels for Mars


Mission name: Mars Science Laboratory Vehicle name: Curiosity rover Problem: Wheels wearing out on sharp rocks of Mars Solving this problem: Watch this lecture at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) given recently. http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl

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Mars Mission Case Study from


May I recommend this interesting Aerospace Engineering case study presented partly in story form. It comes from the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University of Buffalo, and the National Science Foundation. “The Mars Climate Orbiter was deployed … Continue reading

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2014 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Kickoff


It was snow and ice on January 4th, 2014 at Hillcrest High School in Utah where I attended my first FIRST kickoff session. It was cold on the outside, but inside the school the bagels were warm and the anticipation … Continue reading

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Weightless – Part 8 (Draft)


(The next day) “I’m nervous, and excited,” Mr. Jackson thought as he made his way to Dr. Best’s office. Dr. Ellen Best, hired very recently, received a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from a reputable university aerospace program. She was … Continue reading

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Weightless – Part 5


(Continued from Part 4) “That’s the problem,” Mr. Jackson said. “Earth atmosphere re-entry is a critical maneuver and the weight has to be known with some precision to fire the re-entry engines just right; to get the decent just right.” … Continue reading

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Weightless – Part 4


(Continued from Part 3) The next evening, arriving home after scout troop meeting, Gregory heard some noise out in the garage. He entered to find his dad expectedly working on his project. “I thought science projects were for kids,” Gregory … Continue reading

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Impasse on Edge


Engineers often run into challenges that seem like an impasse. Observe Peggy and Alex as they work through a sensitive problem. “No, you can’t lay them flat on top of each other because the coating will get damaged,” Alex insisted. … Continue reading

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