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Resource: Classroom on the Moon

GRAILNASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission will launch twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the Moon to measure its gravity in unprecedented detail and create a gravitational map. GRAIL MoonKAM will allow classrooms to request pictures of the lunar surface from cameras on the twin satellites.

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Feature: Unlimited Space

Aerospace - First Zero G2Many kids dream of exploring space, but few get much further than their schoolyards. This is not true of students in Tekna-Theos, a Florida after-school program bursting with science activities and contests. They’ve set their sights high, designing and building mini-satellites and preparing a payload to test the effect of weightlessness on bone cells. Some have actually experienced “Zero-G.”

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Class Activity: Satellite Tracker

In this activity, middle school students use tracking software available on the Internet to monitor a very large satellite, the International Space Station. Using information from this online resource, students predict and graph the motion of the space station at their location and create a 3-D display of its path through the sky.

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Feature: Space Science Mentor

“Space Science Mentor,” an article from the March 2009 issue of Prism magazine, profiles a Kentucky professor who involves his undergraduates in satellite launches. Hands-on research is often seen as a good way to engage undergraduates in science and engineering. But at Morehead State University’s ambitious space science center, it’s no mere exercise. As the center joins in preparing suborbital vehicles and a satellite for launch, sophomores and even second-semester freshmen help design and build payloads and operate ground-to-space communications.

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