Future Mars Missions and Societal Issues
This learning module and related exercises will expose students the issues of space exploration and the other NASA-partnering agencies and institutions as well as private companies engaged in space-related technology. Students address socio scientific issues and apply the nature of science to real-world decisions regarding human space flight (bold words are also keys in NGSS standards).
- Become aware of NASA partnering agencies and private companies engaged in space-related technology.
- Design a mission and experience the panel review/decision process.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Compiled In-Class Activities and Homework
- In-Class Activity 1: Manned Space-Flight: Is it needed?
- In-Class Activity 2: Space Flight Going Private
Teaching Notes and Tips
- In the Instructor version, answers (where applicable) are shown in red.
- Homework 1 should be given prior to the Mission to Mars Project being due to give students experience.
- Become aware of the issues yourself before engaging in a discussion with students regarding privatization.
Each In-Class Activity and Homework has its own measure of Assessment.
References and Resources
- Space X Press Release (Acrobat (PDF) 177kB Oct16 12)
- Mission to Mars Rubric (Acrobat (PDF) 56kB Oct16 12)
- Manned-Space flight News Article (find most recent): http://www.science20.com/brinstorming/near_future_manned_spaceflight-93648
- NASA Human Space Flight Goals: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/626738main_HEOMD2012Goals.pdf
- NASA roadmap for Astrobiology: https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/roadmap/
- Space-X CEO Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiPJsI8pl8Q&feature=related
- Space X's Dragon spacecraft docking with the ISS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwDCWTqNceQ&feature=player_embedded