Classroom Activity: Space Travel

March 22, 2022

Do you think someday we will be able to board a space shuttle and blast off to another planet or solar system just like we fly to other countries and states? How about vacationing on the moon instead of Europe?

Whether it’s a commercial shuttle to the moon or settlements on Mars, space travel (and even space tourism) has been capturing the imagination of humans for well over a century. But is it a realistic idea? The answer to this question increasingly appears to be “yes”. In 2020, for the first time in history, humans accessed space using a privately owned vehicle built by a private corporation. Their aim, to achieve an affordable space settlement. This was the first significant step towards building an economy in space.

The following resources and activity ideas will help students research and critically think about the possibilities around space travel. They are appropriate for students at a primary or middle school level.


Resource Packs

space-travel-pack

This Britannica School (Australia) Primary level resource pack ↗ includes age-appropriate articles, images, videos and infographics on space exploration and travel. For more advanced learners, a Middle school version↗ of this resource pack is also available.

Teacher Tip:
Schools subscribed to the UK, US, New Zealand or Asia version of Britannica School can also access these resource packs at:
Britannica School (UK) Foundation level resource pack↗
Britannica School (UK) Intermediate level resource pack↗
Britannica School (US) Elementary level resource pack↗
Britannica School (US) Middle level resource pack↗
Britannica School (New Zealand) Primary level resource pack↗
Britannica School (New Zealand) Middle level resource pack↗
Britannica School (Asia) Elementary level resource pack↗
Britannica School (Asia) Middle level resource pack↗
Britannica School (Asia version in China) Elementary level resource pack ↗
Britannica School (Asia version in China) Middle level resource pack ↗


Activities

The following activities can be completed using resources found in the Britannica School ‘Space Exploration’ resource packs.

  1. Choose 4 planets to research, create a fact chart identifying key information about each planet and its suitability for a visit by humans.
  2. Explore space travel and previous space missions. What are the benefits of space travel? What are the drawbacks? Complete the Benefits and Drawbacks table.
  3. Unfortunately space travel is still very expensive. Using the news articles below, create a bar graph illustrating the cost of various space flight journeys from recent years.
    1. NBC News – How much does space travel cost? (Oct 16, 2018)
    2. Forbes – How Much Is A Ticket To Space? (Jul 19, 2021)
    3. US Today – William Shatner went to space. Here’s how much it would cost you. (Sep 15, 2021)

 

 

Featured Image from BRITANNICA IMAGEQUEST: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on display at Farnborough International Air Show 2012. Credit: Mark Williamson/SPL. Accessed 22 Mar. 2022.


These activities and resources have been created using content from Britannica School, the go-to site for safe, comprehensive student research. Contact your librarian to find out if your institution already has access. Find out more about Britannica School or set up your own free trial.


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