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Gr. 6-8 / Ages 11-13 Since the beginning of time, people have looked to the skies and wondered about worlds beyond Earth. Often, traveling through space seems more the work of science fiction story tellers than the results of science fact. In the Pokémon world, legendary stories tell of the mysterious powers of Dialga and Palkia. It's possible such powers would make it simple to travel through time and space. Space travel isn't so easy in our world. Escaping Earth's gravity is the first challenge for traveling in space. Designing and constructing safe, efficient and affordable launch vehicles and spacecraft continue to demand innovation and new technologies. In this lesson, students compare the structure and function of past, present and future launch vehicles and spacecraft. They design and create their own two-stage balloon rocket as a simple model of modern two-stage rocket systems. Students deepen their understanding of traveling through space by investigating several Internet resources. They create a timeline depicting some of the greatest space exploration achievements through time, using a PowerPoint presentation or Website to organize and share their findings. Students may extend this lesson designing a future space mission and testing and creating a variety of model rockets and spacecraft.
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