How to build a space capsule for instructing children


I teach space science and I want to show students a model space capsule that looks similar to the apollo capsule (image attached.)I want a shell made of some material, in which they can place styrofoam blocks that represent the various components (drawing attached). I'm planning three tiers inside the capsule for the students to place the components as well as a window and a hatch.

At first, I was thinking of buying a tapered container (bucket) and working on it. However, I cannot find any containers with the required shape. Can you suggest any other material/technique?

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DoctorDv5 years ago
At most pet stores they sell dog "cones" to stop them from itching their necks. The shape is almost exactly what you are looking for. Also, they sell these cones in many sizes so you can choose what you need. Belopw there is a link to a website that sells these. I am sure you can find one for cheaper, but that is just to show you what they look like. I hope this helps! -Doctordv

Tomdf5 years ago
So, uh, I went for total overkill on this one. I didn't mean to, but I starting thinking about it, and working it out, and just couldn't stop. Here are plans for a 24" wide by 18" tall Apollo Shuttle.

You will need: 24" x 36" piece of styrene sheet (I wrote 1/16th on the pic, but .03" is what you want)
About a 48"x48" piece of 1/4 inch thick mdf
hot glue gun and a lot of glue sticks
All purpose epoxy glue
A hand held jig saw Utility Knife

So you get all the stuff and cut the shell outa the styrene. Then you cut the frame out of the mdf, and put it together with hot glue on the inside joints (where you wont see it). You might need a lot of hot glue ;)

Next you use epoxy to glue one edge of the styrene cone to the side of the frame, let it dry, then wrap and glue the rest. Since the frame is in two halves you will need to cut the extra styrene from the first half. The remaining plastic can then be epoxied to the other half. Don't try to hot glue the styrene, it will melt a little.

The inner styrene strip would be glued into the farm the same way.

I didn't draw it but you could totally cut access ports along the outside to get at the bottom, outside compartment. There were a lot of components down in that area. I would suggest drawing a rectangular template with round corners, and use that to trace compartment hatches for cutting.

The google Sketchup version is available here.

I Hope this helps. If I were gunna build one, that is how I would go about it.
ilavenil (author)  Tomdf5 years ago
Hey, thanks a lot. Can you tell me whether I can replace styrene by any other material?
Tomdf Tomdf5 years ago
Hmm, I can't find the edit button.
You should probably glue the inner styrene strip the the frame, not the the farm (that would be silly.)
use plastic project file for basic structure and then cover it with the mixture of tissue paper and 50%water and 50%glue .it will make it hard and light.
if u wanna it to fly fill some potash along with some nail remover to make it fly put it vertically and lit the potash.......
You don't say where you are in the world, but if you get a sheet of the material we call "hardboard" in the UK (US "Masonite") and cut a circle-with-a-chunk-missing, the radius of the circle is the length of the slope of the cone, then soak it in water for a bit, it becomes extremely soft and pliable, so you can form the cone. Clamp, and allow to dry, and then you have a cone which can be glued and split.


ilavenil (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
Thanks, will try it out. Any tips on how to cut it into a circle? I'm from India, BTW.
You can just about cut it with Scissors or a sharp knife when its soaked !
ilavenil (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
nicelly5 years ago
Children's brains need to develop in childhood should be noted that for children to complement a variety of nutrients, and actively guide children to discover the potential of children, some children may have more research minds!
Use a traffic cone. They can be free if you know where to look
"Free" as in steal? Mmmmm....

Also, the pitch of a traffic cone (about 30 degrees) is much steeper than that of the old Apollo and related crew modules (more than 90 degrees).
Dima1115 years ago
Company " Triometall servis"
kelseymh5 years ago
How large do you want it to be? I found plastic funnels up to 21" diameter with a Google search ("extra large plastic funnel"), but they are really pricey (about $90 each!). You could cut off the pointy tip and outer lip to get a good conical shape, and attach a Frisbee to make a curved "heat shield" base.

A Google search for just "plastic cone" came up with a few interesting possibilities, mixed in with a lot of traffic-cone stuff.
ilavenil (author)  kelseymh5 years ago
The plastic funnel is a nice idea! I'm looking for something around 2 feet high, and slightly less in diameter. But as you said, the price is really high. I'll check out the google results too.
rickharris5 years ago
Assuming you want it to look realistic for instruction your best bet is one o the plastic kits out there BUT don't allow the kids to handle it or it will get broken!

ilavenil (author)  rickharris5 years ago
It doesn't have to look realistic, but the kids have to be able to handle it, as they will be "designing" the interior using styrofoam blocks. Thanks for the info, though.