& here's a pic I took in Sedona:
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!