Space Exploration Merit Badge
Current Scouts BSA Requirements
as of January 11, 2024
Tell the purpose of space exploration and include the following:
Immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge
Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products
International relations and cooperation
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.
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 of the Space Exploration merit badge pamphlet.) Identify and explain the following rocket parts.
* If local laws prohibit launching 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.
Discuss and demonstrate each of the following:
The law of action-reaction
How rocket engines work
How satellites stay in orbit
How satellite pictures of Earth and pictures of other planets are made and transmitted
Do TWO of the following:
Discuss with your counselor a robotic space exploration mission and a historic crewed mission. Tell about each mission’s major discoveries, its importance, and what was learned from it about the planets, moons, or regions of space explored.
Using magazine photographs, news clippings, and electronic articles (such as from the internet), make a scrapbook about a current planetary mission.
Design a robotic mission to another planet, moon, comet, or asteroid that will return samples of its surface to Earth. Name the planet, moon, comet, or asteroid your spacecraft will visit. Show how your design will cope with the conditions of the environments of the planet, moon, comet, or asteroid.
Describe the purpose, operation, and components of ONE of the following:
Space shuttle or any other crewed orbital vehicle, whether government-owned (U.S. or foreign) or commercial
International Space Station
Design an inhabited base located within our solar system, such as Titan, asteroids, or other locations that humans might want to explore in person. Make drawings or a model of your base. In your design, consider and plan for the following:
How it will be constructed
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.