Space Exploration Guide

People have been observing what’s out there in space since before recorded history. Astronomers first focused their eyes and then their telescopes on stars, comets, and planets. But to really get out there and look around, a practical way to escape the Earth’s gravity had to be invented.

Advancements in rocket technology made leaving the Earth, to better understand it and our place in the solar system, possible. The ability to accelerate objects to the velocity needed to escape Earth’s gravity and travel away from the planet made space exploration a reality.

Questions to guide explorations and experiments :

• How can humans observe and explore space?

• What is gravity? How do we experience gravity on Earth? Is there gravity in space?

• How does a rocket get into space?

• What else revolves around the Sun?

• What kinds of challenges and work are involved in getting people into space?

Books and activities

• Books: fiction, nonfiction and poetry all about telescopes, gravity, rockets, astronauts, and exploring space

• Activities: explore and make tools for observing and getting to space; discover the challenges of becoming and being an astronaut

Children’s Books Fiction

• CatStronauts: Space Station Situation by Drew Brockington (Ages 6-9)

• Commander Toad series by Jane Yolen (Ages 6-9)

• El Mundo de Copocuqu: La Reina Gravedad y el Rey Masa (The World of Copocuqu: Queen Gravity and King Mass) by Adriana C. Ocampo Uria (Ages 6-9)

• Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet by Curtis Manley (Ages 6-9)

• Maria’s Comet by Deborah Hopkinson (Ages 6-9)

• Max Goes to Jupiter: A Science Adventure with Max the Dog by Jeffrey Bennett (Ages 6-9) • Max Goes to the Space Station by Jeffrey Bennett (Ages 6-9)

• Mousetronaut by Mark Kelly (Ages 4-8)

• Tiny Little Rocket by Richard Collingridge (Ages 4-8)

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