This is what makes this forum so great - someone shares a sliver of information so that the individual asking can get the details if desired, and instead the responder is impugned with great sanctimony by those who know nothing of the details. No worries. I'll just take my Eagle Scout badge, my 12 years of leading local Scout units (Boy, Varsity, and Venturing), and my current leadership position in my local Council and step back into the shadows of the "experts."
Good luck with the badge, Peartree; it's a fun one.
Sorry if you've taken our postings as impuning. My comments were not directed at anyone specific, rather some close observations taken over several decades in Scouting.
Just so you understand where i'm coming from: My last Active year pin was 35 years. I'll take my Arrow of light, and Eagle badge with silver palm, along with all the boyhood leadership rolls as APL, SPL and JASM & ASM in the troop I grew up with, then another 2.5 decades as SM of my own troop while earning the Scouters Tranining award, Scoutmaster Key, and Woodbadge beads. Along the way spend 10+years as the Districts BSA Roundtable commissioner, earning the District Commissioners Arrowhead award, while holding down a couple training committee Council-wide posts. Serving as the NCAC Councils JLT Training Committee Chair & staff, Train The Trainer Committee member and Staff, later Chairing the same committee, Woodbadge Training Staff, and helped rewrite part of the Scoutmasters Handbook JLT Training guide that is still in use today. Some of These things I think helped in the voting for Horizion Districts award of Merit...etc and still managed to keep the troop "Outing" enough to earn the Council awarded "Most Active Troop" 7 years straight. The last 8 or 9 years have been devoted to mainly MB Counselor on a number of subject.
I type all that not to break my own arm, but to give a little credence to the fact when speaking about training Scouts I do have a long and credible background. "Expert" not hardly; but very well trained over a very long time.
The observations made are something I've personally been fighting at all levels of Scouting for more then a decade. Were it not for a very nasty fall back in 2000, I'd still be deeply involved in the troop programs beyond merit badge counselor. Unfortunately mobility being what it is, I'm happy to serve were I can.
More directly to your charge though: It was within the last 10-12 years that National started easing requirments; Dropping some IMHO important aspects of the Trail to Eagle, and in the process giving rise to some of the "Ease Up on them..their only KIDS" mentality I see so often in my travels around other troops. they aren't just kids, they are Scouts....There is a difference.
While your Packets of info on Space exploration may well be very helpful, I use a similar method for Leatherwork MB and a few other badges. If your telling John that your completing the entire badge requirements, less the model building/flying in a single group meeting setting. Then Sir; I respectfully submit your NOT doing the Scouts or the Badge the justice they both deserve. It's my hope you'll take this not as impuning but rather as good councel toward making the experience more rewarding and meaningful for our Scouts.