Design and create a prototype of an airbag landing system for future moon voyages. 


paper towels (for cleanup)
measuring paper


1.  Students will be divided into engineering design teams of two to three students who will work together to brainstorm ideas, consolidate and organize their ideas, and then choose materials and create a prototype of an lunar airbag system.

2.  Teams will test their prototypes by placing a raw egg inside and dropping from the second floor mezzanine of SHS onto the first floor below.  A successful design will land the egg intact.

3.  Use a digital camera to create a documentary of the process, final product, and results.  Results must be reported in terms of impulse and momentum change experienced by the egg.

4.  Based on the test results, what changes/modifications could be made to improve the airbag design?

5.  Assess your work using the assessment rubric provided below in the "Resources" section.

6.  Final products will be uploaded to this website.


There were three prototypes that we used:
sponge= large mass, increased velocity, shorter time until impact
paper= small mass, decreased velocity, longer time until impact
balloon= small mass, decreased velocity, longer time until impact

Sponge Mass=110.2 g   Fall Time= .83 sec
Paper Balls=130.3 g       Fall Time= 1.04 Sec
Balloons=91.3 g              Fall Time= 1.11 sec
File Size: 448 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Data Analysis

 Best Possible Solution:

Team members will work together to consolidate and organize their

brainstorming ideas by answering the following questions: (Attached)

• What do we think we know about airbags? 
Airbags are built to protect important thing such as passengers in cars. They are built to inflate, catch the important materials, and then deflate rapidly so that the important things are kept safe.

• What do we still need to learn about airbags?
What constitutes a good air bag

• What do we need to know in order to create a prototype of an airbag?
The forces that play a part in a collision and how to reduce the intense forces to more survivable ones

Construct a Prototype:

Each team will choose materials available to create a prototype of an airbag.
Paper air bag
Balloons air bag
Sponge air bag
Test and Evaluate the Solution:

1. Test your airbag structure by placing a raw egg inside and drop from a

height determined by your teacher. A successful design will land the egg


2. Use the digital camera to photograph a movie of the airbag you have

created as it is deployed

Communicate the Solution:

1. How successful was your airbag in keeping your egg safe?
The sponge airbag was the only design that failed to keep the egg safe. The other 2 prototypes however were able to keep the egg fully intact.


The best airbags were the ones that minimized the contact time with the floor. These airbags proved superior because a lesser contact time yielded a smaller force on the airbags and on the egg. Because the sponge airbag was more dense than the others, it smacked the floor and all of the force odf the floor was transferred to the egg immediately. Since the paper and balloons were airy, they dissipated the force applierd to the egg allowing it to remain intact.