Experts have been sending up various spacecraft to obtain intelligence about our planetary system for decades, much like private investigators try to acquire information about people on Earth. However, not every space trip has been the same, just as not every private eye job has been the same.
A flyby is a sort of space mission in which a spacecraft passes by a celestial object without being held in orbit by it. The spacecraft uses its instruments to monitor its target as it passes by, and it relays the data it gathers back to Earth.
One benefit of a flyby mission has already been revealed: it can be used as a short initial survey of something that will later be investigated with more expensive and technically complex missions.
One downside is that the spacecraft cannot return for further examination once it has flown by. So, it’s a shame if something significant was overlooked.
An orbiter spacecraft, apart from a flyby spacecraft, is one that enters and stays in orbit around a planet. Instead of doing a drive-by, the private investigator drives towards the house and then circles it repeatedly to capture images and videos, measure distances, use heat sensors to see if someone is inside, and gather other information.
Anyway, the advantage of an orbiter is that you can collect a lot more data and learn a lot more about the thing you’re examining, which is a planet.
In conclusion, it is difficult and dangerous to send astronauts into space. By simulating four alternative types of space exploration, this activity will help students analyze the benefits and drawbacks of piloted and unpiloted space missions.