As students participate in one of five available mission scenarios, they use the study of science and mathematics as a springboard to a wealth of curricular and extracurricular activities.
RENDEZVOUS WITH A COMET™
In the not too distant future, a team of scientists and engineers are on a daring mission to take an up-close look at a comet as it streaks its way across the galaxy.
Their goal is to plot a successful course to rendezvous with the comet and launch a probe to collect scientific data on the object. They must first construct the space probe and then plot the correct intercept course. What seems at first to be a routine exploration is filled with challenges and emergencies. Each obstacle that stands in the way of a successful mission requires students to work together as a team and problem solve the solution.
RETURN TO THE MOON™
The year is 2015. For the first time since 1972, a crew of astronauts is returning to the Moon. This time, they plan to stay.
Their mission is to establish a permanent base on the Moon to observe and explore, as well as test the feasibility of off-Earth settlements. Navigating their way into lunar orbit, students must construct and launch a probe, and analyze a variety of data gathered from the lunar surface to select a site for establishing the permanent Moonbase. Students begin a new era in human planetary explorations during their mission to Return to the Moon.
VOYAGE TO MARS™
In Earth years, it is 2076. A now routine Voyage to Mars has brought the latest human crew into Martian orbit.
Control of the incoming flight has been transferred from Houston’s Mission Control to Mars Control at Chryse Station. The crew arriving from Earth on the Mars Transport Vehicle has been specially trained to replace the existing crew of astronauts, which has manned Mars Control for the past two years. After arriving on the Martian surface, the team will collect and analyze a number of planetary samples and data. This information is vital to scientists and explorers for a better understanding of the Red Planet.
In the summer of the year 2137, a Low Earth Orbiting Satellite (LEO) has malfunctioned and must be replaced.
The elite Emergency Response Squad, ERS-1, has been called in to construct a new satellite, deploy the satellite, and retrieve important data about the Earth and its environment. Join in this mission to collect data, avert disasters on Earth, and learn about the intricate relationships of Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, ecosphere, and geosphere as you Encounter Earth.
MICRONAUT PROGRAMS – Missions for Grade 3
The Micronaut Program is currently used for 3rd-grade students. Activities are based on elementary standards and use age-appropriate equipment. Task cards and data logs were created for non-readers and beginning readers. Groups can participate in a 1-hour program that takes place aboard the International Space Station, where students are engaged in a variety of hands-on experiments as they travel 230 miles above the Earth’s surface.