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Materials for Space Travel

This Catalyst article investigates materials that are used in space travel. It discovers that they must be designed and tested to ensure they will protect astronauts from radiation and the vacuum of space. 

The article is from Catalyst: Secondary Science Review 2015, Volume 26, Issue 2.

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Mass of an exoplanet from radial velocity

Produced by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, this booklet shows how the Doppler effect and the radial velocity of an exoplanet can be used to calculate its mass. Included is an online video that demonstrates the Doppler effect using a portable speaker and discusses how it can be applied to a distant exoplanet....

Martian Death Rays

Could there be life on Mars? Perhaps so, although the high intensity of UV light means that it is unlikely to be found on the surface. The experiment demonstrates how bacteria grown on agar plates can be killed off by UV exposure. Curriculum areas covered: • Microbiology • Cell biology • Aseptic technique The video...

Mars Viking Mission

This video clip from NASA examines space exploration by the Viking missions to Mars and considers if life can exist on the Red Planet. After describing the components of the Viking orbiters and landers, the programme notes how scientific experiments performed on the surface of Mars revealed a lack of organic...

Mars Express

Produced by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), this wall chart describes the space mission to Mars, the experiments aboard, whether there is water on Mars, Britain's Beagle2 lander and the search for life on Mars. Mars Express was the European Space Agency’s first mission to Mars. Its role is to...

Mars Express

A Catalyst article about the idea of life on Mars. Scientists involved with the Mars Express mission aim to find out more and will try to establish if there ever has been life on Mars. The article looks at the miniature devices that they will employ on the mission. 

This article is from Catalyst: GCSE...

Marble-ous Ellipses

In order to understand the orbits of planets, comets and other celestial bodies, it is necessary to examine the principles of how gravity, and the velocity of an object, interact to produce an orbit. It is a common misconception among students that planetary orbits are circular. This practical activity gives a...

Magnetic Math

This series of activities from NASA take a mathematical approach to looking at magnetism. They are intended as supplementary problems for students looking for additional challenges in mathematics and physical science from age 14 to 19 years.

The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern...

Lunar Exploration

Produced by the Royal Astronomical Society, this information booklet looks at how our knowledge of the Moon has been built up through observation, unmanned exploration and the lunar landings of the Apollo missions. Sections include: * Experiments on the Moon * Moon rocks * Structures on the lunar surface * Beneath...

Lift Off!

This resource, from the European Space Agency, contains exercises in physics and chemistry based on real space data, designed for secondary schools. The exercises and data were developed and checked by ESA space scientists and engineers. They are most appropriate for students at Post 16 level. There are a total of...

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