Welcome to the Home Page for Space Exploration. This Web site provides you with all the information you need to complete the Boy Scout Space Exploration Merit Badge, along with links to more information that is either useful or way fun.

On this page you will find the requirements for the merit badge, listed below. For each requirement there are links to my pages, or NASA's pages or others, that provide you with the information you need to complete the requirement.

This merit badge is too cool for words. Launching your own rocket, one that you built yourself, is so much fun you may become addicted. There is a lot of research to do - and the more you learn the more interesting it gets. This web site will make it much easier to get started, and once you're started you won't want to stop.

Enough talk. Buckle in and let's go!



Merit Badge Requirements

    Updated for the 2014 requirements!

  1. Tell the purpose of space exploration and include the following:
    1. Historical reason
    2. Immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge
    3. Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products
    4. International relations and cooperation

    Go To Reasons for Space Exploration

  2. 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.

    Go To Pioneers of Space Travel
    Go To History of Space Exploration
    Go To Time Line of Space Exploration
    Go To NASA History Page for Human Space Flight

  3. Build, launch, and recover a model rocket.[1] 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.
    1. Body tube
    2. Engine mount
    3. Fins
    4. Igniter
    5. Launch lug
    6. Nose cone
    7. Payload
    8. Recovery system
    9. Rocket Engine

    Go To The Flight of the Rocket
    Go To Model Rocket Assembly
    Go To National Association of Rocketry: Model & High Power Rocketry
    Go To NAR -- Model Rocket Safety Code
    Go To Altitude Estimation
    Go To Rocket Launch Checklists
    Go To Glossary of Model Rocketry

  4. Discuss and demonstrate each of the following:
    1. The law of action-reaction
    2. How rocket engines work
    3. How satellites stay in orbit
    4. How satellite pictures of the Earth and pictures of other planets are made and transmitted

    Go To Newton's Laws
    Go To Rocket Propulsion
    Go To How Orbits Work
    Go To How Fast Is Fast?
    Go To Satellite Pictures

  5. Do TWO of the following:
    1. 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.
    2. Using magazine photographs, news clippings, and electronic articles (such as from the Internet), make a scrapbook about a current planetary mission.
    3. Design a robotic mission to another planet or moon that will return samples of its surface to Earth. Name the planet or moon your spacecraft will visit. Show how your design will cope with the conditions of the planet's or moon's environment.

    Go To JPL Missions unmanned Missions reference
    Go To NASA History Page for Human Space Flight
    Go To The Project Apollo Archive reference on the Apollo moon missions
    Go To Views of the Solar System
    Go To How to Design Your Spacecraft

  6. Describe the purpose and operation of ONE of the following:
    1. Space Shuttle or any other crewed orbital vehicle, whether government owned (U.S. or foreign) or commercial
    2. International Space Station

    Go To Space Shuttle
    Go To Shuttle Flights to Date
    Go To International Space Station Diagrams
    Go To NASA's International Space Station Home Page

  7. Design an inhabited base 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:
    1. Source of energy
    2. How it will be constructed
    3. Life-support system
    4. Purpose and function

    Go To How to Design Your Spacecraft
    Go To NASA's Vision for Space Exploration for plans for lunar and Martian bases.

  8. 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.

    Go To NASA Careers


1. If local laws prohibit the launching of 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.

Thanks for Visiting!


Your questions and comments regarding this page are welcome. You can e-mail Randy Culp for inquiries, suggestions, new ideas or just to chat.
And -- hey! -- we gotta be careful out there. With all the wild viruses flying around, you will need to put more than "Hi!" in the subject line or you will look like a virus. Put something like "Question on Space Exploration" so I know you're for real.
Troop 93, Potowatami Council, New Berlin, Wisconsin
Tripoli #6926
Updated 01 April 2021

About Randy Culp

Stargazing Astronomy Tour of the Night Sky

For Space Exploration Counselors

This Web Site in a Zip

You can download a zipped version of this entire Space Exploration site by clicking here. This can really help if you are presenting to a group to get the non-launching requirements out of the way.