In this simulated space mission, students learn to work as astronauts onboard our spacecraft and Flight Controllers in Mission Control as they conduct scientific experiments, maintain safe living conditions and search the starfields in our solar system to locate and study a comet.
After nine months in space, student astronauts are on final approach to Mars, where they will take the role of student Flight Controllers at Mars’ Mission Control. Teams must work together to track the weather on Mars, determine the best landing area, and make sure their mission is a success.
Why can it be dangerous to fly when the weather is bad? Students learn the basics of airplane flight and explore how weather affects flight by using a wind tunnel, model airplanes, and flight simulators.
A 6th grade performance task can be implemented with this program. Classroom work is required both before and after the visit to the Center. Click here to find out more.
How do airplanes use the air we breathe to lift them off the ground? Have your students find out as they learn the basics of airplane flight and explore the four forces on an airplane by using flight simulators, a wind tunnel and model airplanes. Students should already have a basic understanding of force diagrams before coming for this program.
Is it possible to jump rope in space? Students discover how objects behave in zero-G. After experiencing how toys work on Earth, students predict how they will behave in space and then observe astronauts using the same toys. We recommend combining this program with a Challenger mission to make a full day space experience.