THE SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK

GALLERY OF TOY ASTRONAUTS

ROCKETEER TOY MODEL

ROCKETEER TOY MODEL FRONT VIEW ROCKETEER TOY MODEL BACK VIEW


DISCUSSION

The Rocketeer model pictured above resembles an astronaut in several respects. Note the helmet and backpack propulsion system. Astronauts use a device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) to propel themselves in space. If the MMU is compared to the Rocketeer's propulsion unit, several scientific errors are apparent in the Rocketeer's backpack design.

The Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) is a one-person, nitrogen-propelled backpack which is attached to the space suit's Primary Life Support System. Using hand controllers, the astronauts can fly around in space to repair and retrieve satellites. The means of providing control are 24 thrusters which point in three directions for pitch, roll, and yaw as well as translation maneuvers along the x,y,and z axis of the MMU.

Since the Rocketeer has only two rockets, he must use aerodynamic control surfaces to steer himself through the atmosphere. His hands, legs, arms, and helmet would serve to guide his course through the atmosphere. Of course, he cannot survive a space environment without an astronaut-like space suit. Though his red shirt and black trowsers fit tightly to his body making air resistance less of a drag factor, they do not provide a space suit's protection from a space environment.


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