Even before the 1969 moon landing, children were fascinated by the idea of space travel and exploration and the mysteries of the solar system. Since that time, Shuttle flights and the International Space Station (ISS) have become commonplace, the Mars Rover ‘Curiosity’ is now sending us amazing colour images and soil data from the planet Mars and we look ever deeper into the universe with the Hubble Telescope.
Fortunately there are many free on-line resources for junior astronauts to enjoy including space themed colouring pages, educational games, images from the Mars Rover ‘Curiosity’, interactive demonstrations of space travel and awesome art and craft activities to make satellites and robots.
So take a space journey to the Moon or Mars or further beyond and learn all about the work of NASA, the European Space Agency and Boeing. View the earth from space or track the real-time position of satellites and spacecraft as they pass over your town or city ….. it’s all out of this world.
The amazing European Space Agency have fun and educational resources covering the story of the universe (incl. the sun, moons, planets, stars, galaxies, comets and meteors), life in space, mission control and up to date news on missions and progress. There are quizzes, downloadable screensavers, online colouring pages of rockets, astronauts and the shuttle plus space themed games. Free printable templates allow kids to build models of satellites and even a Hipparcos globe showing constellations and stars. Plenty of amazing earth images too.
Now you can Track Satellites and the Space Station in real time (live) with the European Space Agency’s spacecraft and satellite tracker. Superimposed on Google maps, kids can choose which space vehicle or satellite they’re interested in (including the International Space station (ISS) and Hubble Space Telescope) and then check it’s current location in orbit above the Earth and when it might be flying over their town or city or be visible in the night sky. This is a brilliant free gadget that fascinates both young children and older children and can bring a school space project to life.
The ESA’s Spacecraft Tracker is brilliant but you should know that it’s based upon another original real time satellite tracking system which includes a host of other satellites and space equipment. Best of all we love the ‘What’s Up’ facility which instantly shows on a map what space vehicles, satellites, etc., are in space above you right at this moment and lots of other data like their speed and altitude (height). This is the free website for tracking weather or TV satellites, the International Space Station, space missions and more.
For teachers and pupils of all ages NASA For Students is a universe of news, film/video clips, animations, photographs, fun and knowledge all about space travel and space exploration. Use the left hand menu bar to choose the correct age group and then access lesson plans, quizzes, printable colouring pages, interactive learning tools and so much more. Black holes, space stations, secrets of the universe, mars missions, stunning photographs of the earth from space, free games and much more are all waiting to be discovered by junior astronauts.
Explore our amazing Solar System courtesy of NASA. Kids can take a free tour of it’s history, the planets, and the missions and technology that take man ever deeper into it’s mysteries. Interactive demonstrations include how ion engines work, solar system simulator and multimedia galleries plus asteroids, comets, robots and future calendar of missions. For some intergalactic arts and crafts try their free printable Adobe PDF format card or paper templates to make model spacecraft and a cool balloon powered model of a ‘nano-rover’ planet explorer.
The excellent Space Place for Kids is a joint work between such organisations as National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of California. Along with free stuff for kids like projects, animations and facts about the planets, Earth and space travel technology there are also educational space themed games covering English and maths. Alternatively, get creative and follow some instructions to build your own moon base ready for the next moon mission!
The fun and colourful NASA Kids’ Club is a noisy portal to free games and activities. With five difficulty levels suitable for pre-school/nursery kids to older kids of around 10 or 11 years it’s great for home or the classroom.
The crewed International Space Station is a partnership between the Space Agencies of the USA, Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe. Manned since the year 2000 there will eventually be a crew of 6 who will orbit the earth at 17,500 mph! Enjoy latest mission news, interactive 3D photographs, videos and even live external video feeds from the ISS. Learn all about supplies, life on board, training, technical specifications of the station and much more.
Project Apollo gave us the 1969 Moon Landing which made Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong the first human beings to walk on the moon. This site has comments from the astronauts, biographies and amazing galleries of photographs such as Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the moon carrying out experiments and pictures of the lunar module known as ‘Eagle’.
Join the Mars Exploration Program and access separate resource areas for kids, students and teachers. Children can learn about the science and technology supporting the Mars Rover known as ‘Curiosity’ and the tests and investigations that ‘Curiosity’ will be carrying out as it trundles around the red planet taking hi-res images. There are links to Cornell University too.