Monday, April 1, 2013

Mission to Mars


I have finally seen the red rocks of Sedona, AZ & the breathtakingly beautiful Grand Canyon! If you haven't gone - I highly recommend!! My kids, my husband, me - we all loved it!  While there, I kept thinking of the upcoming Mars mission- there are parts of Sedona that look just like Mars. Here's Mars:

& here's a pic I took in Sedona: 


Looks like Mars, right??!! Tons of iron in that dirt!

      During my astronomy lessons, I have my kids imagine what it would be like to travel to Mars. This isn't so far-fetched! NASA has plans for a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s & just this month, a multi-millionaire announced that his organization will send a man & a woman to Mars by 2018! If we send people to Mars, they will have to deal with a few pretty major issues. I've listed some issues below for teacher background only- I don't want to scare my kids with all this info! But I do use the worksheet below to get their wheels turning.

Teacher background - Issues astronauts will have to deal with on a Mars Mission:

- First of all, Mars is ~75 million miles away! Astronauts must be cramped in a tiny spaceship for a ~7 month trip to Mars & then turn around for a ~7 month trip back home! Can you imagine?!  Definite psychological concerns there.

-There will be exposure to unprecedented risks most notably- radiation. Prolonged radiation exposure can  cause nausea, fatigue, changes in immune system, organ damage, and cancer. No human has ever journeyed beyond the moon. Cosmic radiation, solar radiation, solar flares, catastrophic asteroid collision - all issues.

-Zero gravity - a long stay in a Zero G environment? Muscle & bone mass loss will occur - severely weakening astronauts.

-Food & supplies: What do you eat and drink on this mission? Fresh fruit, fresh veggies and fresh water? More like dehydrated food rehydrated with recycled water! It costs thousands of dollars to send food and supplies on space missions, the cost for a Mars mission 500 day trip would be astronomical!

-Astronauts must go knowing there is no back-up plan - if something goes wrong during their journey, there will be no rescue.

Here is the worksheet I use with my students:

Hope you're having (or had or will have) a fantastic Spring Break!

15 comments :

  1. I am so happy I found your blog!!! It is absolutely adorable and I am happy to be a new follower. Science isn't my strongest point so reading about Mars and combining with your activity is awesome!! Cadbury mini eggs are my faaaaavorite.. I just got my wisdom teeth out or I'd buy a whole bunch and eat them!! ;)

    Laura
    Laura Love to Teach

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OUCH I've had all mine taken out - not fun! Hope you heal fast! Thanks for stopping by!

      ✿Sue✿
      Science for Kids Blog

      Delete
  2. Linking up from Farley! Love your currently font and colors too cute! Have a safe trip home! www.youresosharp.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so glad you put background information for teachers up- I really learned a lot!

    -Maria
    Everyone deServes to Learn

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog so I could find yours. I'm excited to read more! I'm your newest follower.
    --Chrissy
    Firstgradefoundme.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a fun post - glad you had a great Spring Break! I can't wait to use your Mission to Mars info with my kiddos. They will LOVE it!

    I have eaten my body weight in Cadbury eggs this Easter season - I'm going to go through withdrawl :)

    ~Jessica
    Joy in the Journey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good thing mini-eggs aren't available all year - I LUV them!! Hope you had a great Spring Break Jessica!

      ✿Sue✿
      Science for Kids Blog

      Delete
  6. Ah this blog is so cute! All this awesom science lessons makes me want to go back and get a degree in elementary education!

    I look forward to seeing great things on your blog!

    Colleen Bergin

    berginsclassroom.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. So happy to see these Mars resources! My hubby is a scientist who simulates conditions on the Red Planet in his lab. Maybe one of your kiddos will get there someday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW I would love to talk to your husband! I am fascinated by the Mars Missions! I wonder if that multi-millionaire (Dennis Tito) will actually be able to do this by his 2018 date?? Will be interesting to see if he can really make it happen. Thanks for stopping by my blog Loreen!

      Delete
  8. Thank you! I am going to use this as a guide in my space unit. What a great introduction to Mars and a great way to make science attainable for students. Also, in a recent trip to Ireland I visited an area called the Buren that the tour guide told us was similar to the surface of the moon - there definitely were craters there!

    ReplyDelete

Pin It button on image hover