Cosmology & Space Exploration

Newton’s 3rd Law on the ISS

Lockerbie Academy’s Faulkes Telescope Picutures Some of Lockerbie Academy’s Faulkes Telescope pictures taken by students in the school from 2007.

Here are the posters produced by N5 (2016-2017) They answer the questions posed in the research task document below which was created from the Full Content Check 2016. Check them out. There are still a few to come and some need to be updated. If yours isn’t here then let me know and we’ll update.

research tasks as a pdf file

research tasks as a doc file





Continuous Spectra2

Space Exploration Physics

(they’ll take some time to upload so be patient!)

Thermal protection systems

Satellite Periods

Effects of Cosmic Radiation

Risks benefits

Light Year

Observable Universe




Risks with Manned Space Exploration



Understanding of Space

Gravity Assist

In orbital mechanics and aerospace engineering, a gravitational slingshot, gravity assist manoeuvre, or swing-by is the use of the relative movement (e.g. orbit around the Sun) and gravity of a planet or other astronomical object to alter the path and speed of a spacecraft. This saves fuel, time, and expense. Gravity assistance can be used to increase or decrease its speed or redirect the path of a spacecraft. The “assist” is provided by the motion of the gravitating body as it pulls on the spacecraft. It was used by interplanetary probes from Mariner 10 onwards, including the two Voyager probes’ notable flybys of Jupiter and Saturn.

A gravity assist around a planet changes a spacecraft’s velocity (relative to the Sun) by entering and leaving the gravitational field of a planet. The spacecraft’s speed increases as it approaches the planet and decreases while escaping its gravitational pull. Because the planet orbits the sun, the spacecraft is affected by this motion during the manoeuver. To increase speed, the spacecraft flies with the movement of the planet (taking a small amount of the planet’s orbital energy); to decrease speed, the spacecraft flies against the movement of the planet. The sum of the kinetic energies of both bodies remains constant.

Gravity Assist

Open Ended Space Question

  1. From your knowledge of energy, what might a space exploration scientist consider when sending a machine to land safely on an extra terrestrial body? The machine must be capable of sending back some intelligible data
  2. Two people are discussing satellite motion one person says:
    “Satellites stay in motion because there is no gravity”
    Using your knowledge of Physics comment on that response.
  3. An astronaut on the international space station was quoted as saying:
    “I sometimes feel like a human cannon ball.”
    Using your knowledge of physics explain why he is like a cannon ball in space.
  4. Recently Voyager 1, one of the first space probes launched by NASA in 1977, has now left our Solar System.
By Voyager_Path.jpg: created by NASAderivative work: Hazmat2 (talk) – Original from file was derived fromVoyager Path.jpg:, Public Domain,

EITHER: Using your knowledge of physics, explain how this space probe was able to reach the outer planets.

OR: Using your knowledge of physics, explain how NASA might know that the probe has now left our Solar System.

OR: Using your knowledge of physics, comment on what happens next to this space probe.

5. A daytime newsreader commented that, “Looking at the stars is like looking back in time.” Use your knowledge of physics to comment on the journalist’s statement.

6. There are many parts of space that are detected by different types of telescope. Use your knowledge of physics to describe one telescope that is used in astronomy.

7. A ball rolls off from a table as shown.

Use your knowledge of physics to comment on what the ball’s horizontal distance from the edge of the table would and would not depend on.

8. A velocity-time graph of skydiver 1 is shown below


A velocity-time graph of skydiver 2is shown below

 Use your knowledge of physics to explain how the second skydiver’s velocity-time graph during descent compares with that of the first skydiver.



Mass, Weight and Weightlessness

Below is a link to an excellent website for you to check your learning about weight and weightlessness. It is probably just above N5 standard, so read through it slowly and carefully and ask if there is material you don’t understand.

How does ‘g’ change with height above the surface of the Earth?

Continue reading “Mass, Weight and Weightlessness”

Dynamics and Space Resources

Please can you let me know which set of notes you would prefer to work from. I can copy one set (sometimes in two parts). Check the material off against the outcomes and let me know via a comment or email as to which ones you prefer. Obviously if you have a means of copying you can use more of these notes, or can read them electronically.

These are my notes. I’ve spent the day working on these but there is way more to do than I imagined. I need to sort them out, but stuff is beginning to come together.

New Dynamics and Space_2


N5 D&S Problem Booklet

Dynam & Space D&G PS Book

parachutes      parachutes


Projectile questions

Projectile questions

Projectile questions1

mass and weight

mass and weight

work done calculations

Latent Heat questions

Revision Questions

Use the pdf file, printed from a powerpoint presentation to practice work for the D&S topic. Some space has been left so that you can record your answers on the sheets. They are saved 6 slides to a page

Dynamics and Space Revision

Dynamics and Space Revision ANSWERS Don’t peek at the answers until you’ve finished going through the questions and created your own answers.

Resources from other schools

I would like to thank all the schools who have produced notes that are reproduced here. Know that I am really grateful. I have a half finished set of my own notes, but don’t think I can get them suitably done in time. Be assured that at least you’ll have some excellent higher notes next year, and after those scores I am expecting a big Higher class 2017-2018!

Dynamics and space part1

Dynamics and space part2

The above two booklets count as one!

N4 N5 Unit 1 Summary Notes[1]

N4 N5 Unit 1 Summary Notes[1] These are the same set of notes, one is in word, but for those that cannot read that the other is a pdf file, which you ought to be able to read.

D&S Summary Notes

The notes below would be combined into one booklet (the one at the end of this section)

N5 DS Mar 13 Dynamics Teacher notes

N5 DS Mar 13 Forces Pupil notes

N5 DS Mar 13 Forces Teacher notes

N5 DS Mar 13 Space Pupil notes

N5 DS Mar 13 Space Teacher notes

N5 DS Pupil material notes FINAL COPY 13th JUNE

N5 DS Pupil material notes FINAL COPY 13th JUNE

The booklet below is an Intermediate 2 booklet and contains some material for other topics and some material is missing. It might be a good idea to get yourself a copy of this, if possible, especially if you are not a great lover of the heat section!


Here are some more notes produced for Intermediate 2. There are some good questions here, but it does not cover all of the topic we are about to complete.

3779 Int 2

I will add some cut-outs and single page resources as we go through the course. If you lose yours, you will have to print them off yourself or take a photo!

Other Resources

N5 D&S Problem Booklet

N5 DS Past Paper Booklet

PhysicsCoursePhysicsofFlightLearner_tcm4-752866 PhysicsCoursePhysicsofFlightStaff_tcm4-752868 PhysicsCourseTelescopeLearner_tcm4-756621 PhysicsCourseTelescopeStaff_tcm4-756620


Space Junk! We’ve made a bit of a mess of our wonderful world!