LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR PURPOSE FOR THIS UNIT. QUESTIONS TO ANSWER:
1. WHY SHOULD WE CARE TO LEARN ABOUT THE SOLAR SYSTEM?
2. DO WE NEED TO EXPLORE SPACE?
3. WERE OUR ANCESTORS CURIOUS ABOUT THE NIGHT SKY AND STARS?
4. HOW DID ROCKETS BEGIN? WAS THERE A TIME WHEN WE WERE NERVOUS ABOUT GOING OUT INTO SPACE? WERE THERE DANGERS INVOLVED IN EARLY SPACE EXPLORATION?
5. IS IT TRUE WE SENT DOGS AND CHIMPANZEES INTO SPACE?
6. SHOULD WE CONTINUE TO SEND UNMANNED MISSIONS INTO SPACE?
7. SHOULD WE PLAN FUTURE MISSIONS TO THE MOON? TO MARS? TO OTHER PLACES?
8. WHY IS THERE SUCH A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPACECRAFT IN MOVIES AND GAMES AND ACTUAL NASA SPACE PROBES AND ROCKETS?
IN YOUR INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOK, PICK ONE QUESTION TO ANSWER. ILLUSTRATE YOUR ANSWER IF YOU CAN.
LESSON 1: ILLUSTRATIONS FOR HISTORY OF SPACE FLIGHT : EARLY DREAMS OF FLIGHT
Hot air balloons were the first step in controlled ventures into our atmosphere.
The Montgolfier Brothers of France flew the first manned balloons in 1783.
These were elaborate flying machines weighing over 500 pounds and carrying people thousands of feet into the air. One of the earliest flights took three animals up into the atmosphere to see if it was toxic to life*. Can you guess which 3 animals made the flight?
*As late as the 1700s, there was a common belief that only the air near the surface was safe and that the higher layers of air were filled with poisons. Of course, this is not true. But to the first hot air balloonists, this was a worrisome and dreadful thought. To the audiences amazement, the 3 animals were not poisoned that day by the atmosphere and safely returned to the ground.
As balloons developed into airships, one of the most difficult problems to solve was getting them to turn full circle. This airship won an important award and a large sum of money for being the first to fly past the Eiffel Tower and return to the starting point.
Do you think this flight was successful? Why?
Otto Lillienthal ~ Germany ~ first controlled gliding experiments. This is called a fixed wing flight and caused quite a sensation. The Wright Brothers would also experiment with fixed wings a number of years later.
The Wright Brothers of Ohio
Early gliding experiments at Kitty Hawk. Notice there's no motor.
Wright Brothers ~ North Carolina ~ December 1903
First heavier than air motorized flight.
Later flights by the Wright Brothers lasted up to an hour. ~ Ft. Myers, Florida
LESSON 2: IMAGES FOR PLANET MERCURY LESSON
Mariner 10 (The first 9 Mariner missions failed in their attempt to orbit the planet)
The Messenger mission recently sent back this image of the planet's surface.
Orbit of Mercury
Question: How many revolutions does Mercury make for every 1 revolution of Earth?
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE: THE STORY OF METEORS & IMPACT CRATERS
The impact crater rim rises to 15 feet above the surrounding plain.
Near Winslow, Arizona ~ Meteor Crater Museum
Meteor Crater is a 50,000 year old impact crater in the desert of Arizona. You can see the visitor center on the rim.
PROJECT 1: IMPACT CRATER MODEL
Materials: Foam 'to go' box, clay, black sharpie, notecard
Click to enlarge the photo to see the information card.
Best idea: Smooth out the clay in the bottom of the container, then 'pinch' circles to make the craters stand out above the surface. Put black dots around the rims to help see the craters.
PROJECT 2: INVENT & ILLUSTRATE THE FIRST MODE OF FLIGHT
TIMEFRAME: 1100s TO THE 1800s
You may 'dream' of harnessing the power of birds, balloons, and sails, or think of your own idea. Remember, the earliest ideas used the power of wind and hot air, not motors.
OUR FIRST UNIT IS OUT OF THIS WORLD! ASTRONOMY & SPACE EXPLORATION
Thanks to Patrick and Daniel's family for loaning us this beautiful telescope. Jake demonstrates the proper technique on his Pringles stargazer.
"Dreams of Flight"
By Sydney ~ 2nd Grade
Besides the Planets, we will also study Dwarf Planets, Asteroids, Comets, Moons, the Heliopause, the Sun, Meteoroids, the Oort Cloud, and the Kuiper Belt. Whew! That's a lot! Here are some moons to get started. My favorite moon name....Ganymede.