Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Space Exploration Merit Badge


Space Exploration




  1. Tell the purpose of space exploration and include the following:
        A. Historical reasons,
        B. Immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge,
        C. 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.
  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:
        A. Body tube
        B. Engine mount
        C. Fins
        D. Igniter
        E. Launch lug
        F. Nose cone
        G. Payload
        H. Recovery system
        I. Rocket engine
  4. Discuss and demonstrate each of the following:
        A. The law of action-reaction.
        B. How rocket engines work
        C. How satellites stay in orbit
        D. How satellite pictures of Earth and pictures of other planets are made and transmitted.
  5. Do TWO of the following:
        A. 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.
        B. Using magazine photographs, news clippings, and electronic articles (such as from the Internet),
              make a scrapbook about a current planetary mission.
        C. 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 ONE of the following:
        A. Space shuttle
        B. International Space Station
  7. Design an inhabited base located on the Moon or Mars. Make drawings or a model of your base. In your design, consider and plan for the following:
        A. Source of energy
        B. How it will be constructed
        C. Life-support system
        D. 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.

Space Exploration Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.