Lunar Expedition
Mission: Mars
Suborbital Sojourn
Asteroid Encounter
Orbital Laboratory®
K-3 Space®

"Excellent Program! Students really like hands on projects. Thanks for providing them! Students learn best by doing."

- Teacher Ann Cooper
Osceola High School
Osceola, AR

"It is a great avenue to teach the concepts that is different than a textbook."

- Teacher Joann Schapp
Bishop Ryan High School
Minot, ND

Suborbital Sojourn allows students to learn, explore, and analyze data about suborbital spaceflight. In the Spaceflight Simulation, students take on the roles of scientists and engineers at a spaceport as they send a rocketplane to the edge of space and return it safely. Students work in teams to accomplish the specific goals of the mission. The simulation is an authentic experience that gives students a unique perspective on what goes into putting any craft into suborbital flight.

Preparation and follow-up activities are important components of the mission simulation experience. Lesson plans are prepared for teachers to choose from when preparing their students for the missions. The lessons include topics such as:

  • Microgravity
  • Life on Earth
  • Physiological Effects of Space Travel
  • Weightlessness
  • Creating a Crew Patch
  • Return to Earth
  • They also utilize a number of different teaching formats to ensure learning opportunities for all students.

    In the Spaceflight Simulation, students take on the roles of ten scientists and engineers at a spaceport as they send a rocket plane into suborbital flight. As part of the suborbital flight, the rocketplane travels to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, reaching an altitude of 60 miles before landing back at the spaceport. Students take the rocket plane through the following stages: pre-launch, cruise to boost altitude, rocket boost, coast to apogee, re-entry/ballistic descent, landing, and post-flight procedures. This simulation takes approximately one class period to complete, compared to 90-100 minutes for the other team-based simulations.

    Space Explorers applets are an exceptional tool to not only illustrate complex concepts, but also allow students to make and test predictions. The inquiry-based applets complement the lesson plans and simulations while allowing students to learn at their own pace. These are ideal for visual and hands-on learners.

    The Interactive Applets were created to allow students to test out various scenarios to better understand the forces involved in asteroid impacts, trajectory correction techniques, launch windows, and aerobraking calculations. These allow for a fun, fast paced learning experience related to NASA missions. The Applets are designed to be completed online, and include corresponding lesson plans combining contextual and activity-based exercises to key science concepts with fun, interactive activities.

    Students begin exploring the Space Library® by selecting what interests them most. Space Library® has detailed information about the planets, the Sun, the Moon, comets, rockets & X-planes, deep space, asteroids, and live missions. For each planet in our solar system, students will find planetary data, images, information about past, current, and future missions, and much more.

    The Space Library is comprised of engaging articles that aid students to apply research and critical thinking skills. Teachers can direct students to the Space Library as they seek answers to questions and conduct further investigations.

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