When a big new warship is built for our Navy, it’s built on land, of course – but then it somehow has to get to the water. And shoving a 3,500-ton ship off the dock sure doesn’t sound easy. There are a couple of ways to do it, but it turns out the builders can just tip the boat off a ramp and let it plop into the water, like a bath toy. As we see in this video, last month Lockheed Martin launched the USS Detroit in that way: the ship hits the water at a crazy angle, but because of the way the weight of the ship is balanced, the boat eventually sloshes back and forth until it’s upright. Given that the ship cost $360 million to build, they wouldn’t do this unless they knew it wouldn’t break the boat!
Wee ones: This USS Detroit is the 6th ship to take that name. Can you count them off from 1 to 6?
Little kids: If this is the 6th USS Detroit, how many ships have had that name before this one? Bonus: No one is on board a ship when it’s launched like this – they’d definitely get hurt. If before launch 13 builders and 2 curious kids are on board, how many people have to get off the boat?
Big kids: If they started building the ship in November 2012 and launched it in October 2014, how many months did the project take? (Assume they both started and ended mid-month.) Bonus:How much is 3,500 tons in pounds, anyway? (Reminder: One ton equals 2,000 pounds.)
Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Little kids: 5 ships. Bonus: 15 people.
Big kids: 23 months, 1 less than 2 full years. Bonus: 7,000,000 pounds (7 million).