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Gravity Probe B

Testing Einstein's Universe

Build a Paper Model of the GP-B Spacecraft

Designed by Katherine Stephenson

Photo of an assembled paper model of the GP-B spacecraft.
Photo of an assembled GP-B
spacecraft paper model

In 2004, Stanford graduate student and GP-B graphic designer, Katherine Stephenson, created a 1/20 scale paper model of the GP-B spacecraft that you can download as a PDF file, print out, and assemble. There are two versions of the PDF file: a standard-quality version and a high-quality version. Both PDF files are compatible with Adobe Acrobat 4.0 and later. The only visible difference between the two is that the colors are not as bright and saturated in the standard-quality version, but it will download in less time for people with low-speed Internet connections.

Both versions include two pages of instructions and six pages of images to cut out and assemble. You’ll need scissors, an Exacto knife, a straight edge, glue (glue sticks and hot glue guns work well), Scotch tape, two 9.5” long, 1/8” diameter wooden dowels (shish-kabob skewers work well) about 3-5 hours, and patience to assemble the model. For best results, print the cut-out pages of the model on heavyweight paper. Glossy photo paper is a bit hard to work with, but it yields a very realistic-looking model.

Photo of GP-B spacecraft paper model instructions. Photo of supplies recommended for building a paper model of the GP-B spacecraft.
Photos of the satellite model & instructions. Some recommended materials (glue gun is optional).

Note: There is an independent Dutch web site, (click "Models" when you arrive at the site), that has posted a 1:72 super-detailed paper model of the Delta II rocket that launched GP-B. It includes the pictures of our decal and other rocket specifics. Instructions are included in both Dutch & English - you'll need to scroll to see the English instructions, but they are present. The rocket model was created by E. te Groen for the Public Observatory Philppus Lansbergen, Netherlands.