After the completion of the ‘egg drop’ in 2009, Ellis Corets visited a 6th grade classroom in Medina Elementary School at the invitation of Kristi Stroyan, the school teacher and a board member of the Cascades Science Center Foundation, to discuss the egg drop event. Ellis asked the students, if they could think of a real world application of the egg drop principle.
Ellis then asked them if they were familiar with the recent landings of the rover vehicles on Mars by NASA. Ellis described to them that there is little or no atmosphere on Mars, so a parachute cannot be used, as many students were using to drop their eggs from the balcony in the school.
NASA’s approach was to place the rover vehicle in a tetrahedron - they called it “Spacecraft Lander”. A tetrahedron is a four sided figure, each side being an equilateral triangle. The tetrahedron was then wrapped in the equivalent bubble wrap. This package was then dropped from orbit and landed on Mars. It bounced and bounced and bounced and rolled and finally came to a stop. The protective wrap peeled off. The tetrahedron opened. And the rover drove off into the sunset. Read more about the Spacecraft Lander on NASA website.