Surviving on Mars

Barren, cold and uninhabitable – will mankind be able to make a home out of the Red Planet?

Age Range: 15 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

Author: Gemma Lavender

This 9-page feature from All About Space magazine investigates the fate befallen the unfortunate astronaut in Ridley Scott’s film The Martian, based on the novel by Andy Weir and asks, could we survive on Mars?

Resources

Moon Flip-book

In this exercise we will observe the phases of the Moon over time or using Stellarium. Afterwards we draw each phase in to a series of cards, which we use to make our very own moon-book, which you can flip through to remind and entertain you.

Age Range: all ages, younger children will need help with scissors.
Prep. Time: 5 minutes
Activity Time: 20 minutes
Cost per activity: Low
Materials: Scissors, Stapler, Pencil / colours, Thicker paper

Resources

The hunt for Martian life

Now in orbit around the Red Planet, ExoMars provides our best bet for finding signs of life on Mars so far.

Age Range: 15 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

Author: Jonathan O’Callaghan

This 9-page feature from All About Space magazine explores the work of the ExoMars, the a two-part mission that is going to search for life on Mars like never before.

Resources

How Big is the Earth?

Age range: 12 – 16 years
Prep. time: 15 minutes + the time to find a partner school
Lesson time: 30 minutes
Cost per activity:  0
Includes the use of: calculator

In this exercise, we will measure the circumference of the Earth using the same procedure as Eratosthenes did 240 BC. To do this, we need to measure the height of the sun in two locations directly north-south of each other. Are you able to get answers close to the result we have today?

In this lesson students will also use techniques including basic mathematics (multiplication and division), measurement techniques, and geometry.

Student Guide

Teacher Guide

The Fight for Mars

It’s the battle of the billionaires: two of the private space industry’s most exciting companies – SpaceX and Virgin Galactic – go head-to-head and they’re proving to be fiercely competitive.

Age Range: 13 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

This 9-page feature from All About Space magazine explores two of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world; Elon Musk and Richard Branson and their mission to be the first to take over Mars.

Resources

Identifying Micrometeorites

Did you find a curious looking rock? With the help of these instructions you can investigate if it could be a meteorite.

This presentation will lead you through the common features of micrometeorites, including magnetism, weight, surface features and evidence of fusion crust, chondrules, metal flakes, patina and rust.

Interesting findings are worth submitting to an expert for analysis. With scientific methods any meteorites can be reliably identified and categorised. The presentation also guides you to where you might find such advice!

This resource is also available in Finnish.

Slide Pack – English

Slide Pack – Finnish

Over 10 Years Around Mars

Over a decade ago, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) arrived at the Red Planet – take a look at its biggest discoveries.

Age Range: 15 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

Author: Giles Sparrow

This 9-page feature from All About Space magazine explores the discoveries and photographs of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the ten years it has been in Mars’ orbit.

Resources

Martian Meteor Mountain

The Curiosity rover snaps a panoramic view of Mount Sharp and the environment that may have once supported life on Mars.

Age Range: 13 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

Author: Ben Briggs

This 3-page feature from All About Space magazine contains two photographs taken by The Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars, including landmarks such as Yellowknife Bay, Aeolis Mons and Wernecke. The article also includes a selfie from the rover, taken by its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI)!

Resources

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Since the early 1960s, the collective space agencies of the world have launched over 50 missions to the distant world the Romans named after their deity of war, and one of those missions – NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) – is in its 14th year of ground-breaking study above Mars.

Age Range: 13 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

Author: Dominic Reseigh-Lincoln

This 5-page feature from All About Space showcases the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the instrument designed to support NASA’s long-standing Mars Exploration Programme. The article details the MRO’s anatomy, which features the most powerful camera ever sent to deep space, and its journey to Mars in order to enter the planet’s orbit.

Resources

Living like a Mars rover

Nagin Cox is a spacecraft engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and part of the team responsible for operating the Curiosity Mars rover. All About Space caught up with the TED Talk speaker, who lives and works on Martian time.

Age Range: 13 years +
Prep. Time: 0 mins
Lesson Time: N/A
Cost per activity: N/A
Includes the use of: PDF Reader or colour printing

Interviewer: James Horton

This 5-page feature from All About Space magazine is an interview with Nagin Cox who, in this interview with James Horton, fondly reflects on her missions to Mars.

Resources