Nova: Design a Mars Parachute
When this interactive
was published in 2004, scientists had no idea that the Mars Rover, Opportunity, would still be working in 2014. It was really important that the design of the parachute worked in order for the initial rollout of the Spirit and Opportunity to have any chance at all to explore the Martian surface. After learning about the parameters needed for the design of a parachute that functions well, design your own and test it out. Would Opportunity survive its landing on Mars had it been outfitted with a parachute of your design? If not, try a new design.