SPACE EXPLORATION VIA THE NET
In this exercise you will use the Internet and the world wide web to journey through space. The past five decades have seen many exciting missions thanks to the efforts of NASA and other agencies. This lab is an opportunity for you to read about some of these missions so that you can appreciate and understand the complexity and achievements of these projects. IMPORTANT! This lab is a replacement for stargazing. Since you were required to do 5 stargazing exercises, you may write one essay for each stargazing exercise you were unable to do. So, if you have done 2 stargazings, you will need to write 3 essays, if you could
not do any stargazing, you can write 5 essays. Each essay will be on one of the missions described in the Exercise section of the lab. EQUIPMENT
None. You will be surfing the web and reading material online. INTRODUCTION
Even a casual glance at the NASA website shows a plethora of missions that have occurred over the past few decades, many more that are currently underway and others that are on the drawing board. We have chosen five for you to explore in greater detail. SOHO is the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory that is parked 1.5 million km from the surface of Earth, facing the Sun and its objective is to study the Sun. Images from SOHO are available daily on your computer and its instruments have provided us valuable information about the Sun. On November 2 2000, and continuously ever since, we have had astronauts onboard the International Space Station. Studying how humans react to extended stays in space is an important question to answer for the future of space travel. Our closest planetary neighbors (after the Moon) are Venus and Mars. Conditions on Venus are so lethal, spacecraft that landed did not survive for long. But Mars is one of the most-visited places in the solar system. Following the successful missions by the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the current rover actively studying the surface of Mars is Curiosity. As it inches its way across the planet, it gives us first-hand information about our neighbor. The question “are we alone?” has been a fundamental question in the minds of astronomers and philosophers for centuries. Will we have an answer soon? The space telescope named Kepler may help us narrow our search and yield some answers. And what’s still to come? The James Webb Telescope is being built and will be put into orbit soon, a successor to the beloved Hubble Space Telescope. Here’s an opportunity to see it being put together and prepare to follow its progress.
LAB EXERCISE This assignment will be checked for plagiarism so please properly attribute sources rather than passing the work off as your own. Do not use more than 10% of any essay as a quote!
IMPORTANT! This lab is a replacement for star gazing. Since you were required to do 4 stargazing exercises, you may write one essay for each stargazing exercise you were unable to do. So, if you have done 2 stargazings, you will need to write 2 essays, if you could not do any stargazing, you can write 4 essays. Each essay will be on one of the following NASA missions. Each essay is to be no less than 400 words in length. Essays shorter than this may not be graded. Make sure that you include answers to all of the 5 items required in each essay. You can choose your essay(s) from the list below. A. SOHO
1. Go to http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/ to read about this mission. This is a robotic
spacecraft that studies the sun. Write at least a 400-word essay about this mission. Include 1) its launch date and initial plans for its duration, 2) the instruments aboard, 3) the findings, 4) the challenges and 5) view some of their images and write your impression of the sights. B. The International Space Station 2. Go to http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html to start your
information search. Write at least a 400-word essay about the mission. Include the following topics in your essay. 1) how many astronauts stay onboard the station at any given time right now and what will be the maximum number that will stay at one time, 2) three experiments that have been done onboard, 3) what have been the biggest challenges to keeping astronauts onboard, 4) the latest additions to the space station 5) when will be the next time we can see the ISS in the evening sky over Dallas.
C. Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory) Go to http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html and read about mission. Write at
least a 400-word essay that includes 1) when was it launched and when did it arrive at Mars, 2) the mission goals, 3) the instruments it has, 4) how long is the mission supposed to last and how long has it been working and 5) describe your favorite image from it.
Go to http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html to explore the
spacecraft. Write at least a 400- word essay on the mission. Include in the essay 1) its objectives, 2) describe its science instruments, 3) its current status, 4) any challenges or milestones, 5) and include a piece of information that you found particularly unusual or interesting. E. James Webb Telescope 4. Go to NASA’s website http://jwst.nasa.gov/multimedia.html and read about thie upcoming
project. Write at least a 400-word essay that includes 1) its expected launch date & in which part of the spectrum will it operate, 2) Why is it named James Webb? 3) its mission objectives,http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.htmlhttp://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.htmlhttp://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.htmlhttp://jwst.nasa.gov/multimedia.html
4) describe its primary mirror & instruments on board 5) Look at Cam 1 and Cam 2, (and animations) to see it being assembled. Write your impressions.
How to submit the assignment
To submit your assignment do the following: First combine your essays into a single document and save the document. You can separate the different assignments by placing them on different pages. Save your assignment on your computer, or flash drive in one of the following formats: .zip, .doc, .docx, .docm, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .txt, .pdf, .rtf or .html Submit in Lesson 11. On the Assignment Submission” section click on the “Browse My Computer” and then locate the correct directory where your file is located. Choose you file then click on “Open.” Again the acceptable file formats are .zip, .doc, .docx, .docm, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, txt, .pdf, .rtf or .html After you choose the file scroll down to the bottom click on the “submit” button at the bottom of the page. DO NOT click “Save as Draft.” This assignment will be checked for plagiarism so please properly attribute sources rather than passing the work off as your own. Do not use more than 10% of any essay as a quote!
Grading Rubric Each essay is 10 points. Each essay asks 5 questions – 2 points each.