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Digital Lab Design a Spacecraft Be a Spacecraft Engineer

Design your spacecraft online

To practice designing your spacecraft, try building it using recycled spacecraft parts. Use the original "space bus" as the core unit and drag other parts onto it as you like. You can make the parts larger or smaller by pressing the "+" or "-" key while dragging the part. You can move the part behind the space bus by pressing "B" while dragging it. Press "F" to move it in front of the space bus. If you want to start over, drag the parts into the Rubbish can and grab new parts.

Then design your spacecraft offline, on paper or with a computer graphics program.

If you want to save or print your design, take a screen shot:

On a Macintosh, press Command-shift-3. This takes a picture of the screen and saves it in the top-level of your hard drive. You can open it (it's probably called "Picture 1") in SimpleText or any graphics program and then print it from there.
In Windows, press the Print Screen key on your keyboard. This copies the entire monitor screen to the Clipboard. You can then open up any graphics program and Paste the image into an open document, then print it from there.

And be sure to create your own spacecraft design offline as well!

(If you don't see the gold space bus and eight different parts below, click "Reload" or "Refresh" on your browser toolbar.)

Spacecraft Designer Applet
Spacecraft images copyright 1996-97, California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved. Further reproduction prohibited.