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Space Shuttle Glider

by George F. Rice

Materials Required:

  • Scissors
  • Printer
  • Tape
  • Paper Clip


Follow these instructions to make your own Enterprise II Space Shuttle!

  1. Download this Portable Document Format (PDF) file to your "My Documents" folder: shuttle.pdf. Depending on which browser you use, you may need to shift-click on the link, or right-click and select "Save Target...".
  2. Load shuttle.pdf into Adobe's PDF Reader software. If you don't have Adobe's PDF Reader, you can download and install it for free from here.
  3. Print the template on heavy paper (not regular paper). If you don't have heavy paper, carefully paste the sheet onto a piece of poster board.
  4. Cut out the three shuttle pieces - wing, body and tail.
  5. Fold the body in half down the middle, so that the printed side is showing. The fold the ten tabs out so that the body can stand flat on the wing.
  6. Tape the body to the wing as shown. Slip the tail under the body and tape in place on each side as shown.
  7. Slip a small paper clip or other weight over the very front of the shuttle, so that the nose will be heavier that the rest.

If you followed the instructions correctly, your shuttle should now look like the picture above. Now, let's fly it!

Holding the shuttle by its body upside down (tail pointing downward, gently toss the shuttle forward. It should glide to a smooth landing (although upside down). If so, then congratulations, your shuttle flies!

If the shuttle nose rises, and the shuttle "stalls" and dips toward the ground, that means the nose is too light. You can either add a little more weight to the front of the shuttle (perhaps a small piece of cardboard under the paper clip), or you can gently roll the back of both wings down (toward the tail). Now, try again.

If the shuttle nose drops, so that the shuttle dives straight into the ground, then the nose is too heavy. You can either remove a little weight in the front of the shuttle (perhaps use a smaller paper clip), or you can gently roll the back of both wings up (away from the tail). Now, try again.

If you have Microsoft PowerPoint, or a similar program such as Sun StarOffice or the free Open Office.org, you can decorate your shuttle using your computer. Just download this file.

If you have any problems, please feel free to click "feedback" below and contact me.

Here is a picture of the template (although the PDF file mentioned at the top of this page will work better in producing your shuttle!).

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