“This module helps students learn about NASA missions to study asteroids so they can gauge for themselves the threat of future asteroid collisions.” http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home/index.html
See more of NASA’s educational video conference programs on their distance learning network (DLN) site.
Mr. Mazza encouraged the students to study math. He said that we live in a very exciting time in which there is a lot to be discovered about asteroids and planetary science. He emphasized that math is a critical subject to master if you want to become an astronaut or research scientist.
- Jet Propulsion Lab is in Pasadena, California
- Train to be an astronaut at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
- Launch into space at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
- Be a research Scientist at The Glen Research Center Cleveland, Ohio
A few famous asteroid hits:
- NASA was created in 1958
- 1972 – The last time we were on the moon
- Most of our asteroids are located between Mars and Jupiter
- The largest asteroid is about 330 miles in diameter
- The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was 7 miles in diameter, but most asteroids are very small
- Number of asteroids in the main asteroid belt over 1 kilometer in size is: 1 to 2 million
- First asteroid was found in 1801. Today we know of 500,000
- You can name an asteroid if you can find it
- Asteroids are made up of different materials which may prove to be very useful: special minerals
- All the asteroids together weigh 4% of the moon
- For every impact on the moon, the earth has been hit 25 times.
- Meteorite showers are remnants of a comet that we see as the earth passes through the comet’s tail.
- You could probably find dust from a meteor on the roof of your house.
- In 2003 Japan landed an unmanned spacecraft on a small asteroid named Itokawa.
A Sampling of Student Questions:
How would you get rid of an asteroid approaching earth? You don’t want to blow it up because all the pieces would cause more damage. You would send something up to try to move its orbit so it would pass by and not hit earth.
Are aliens real? We have not found any evidence. But if there are aliens, they will read your texts someday. Texts go up to a satellite and some keep traveling through space so our sounds go through space and could be heard. But we have not found any evidence yet.
Will space mess up communication? Solar energy interferes with communications in space and on power grids on earth.
Did you want to be an astronaut? When Dave was young they only took military test pilots and you had to have perfect eyesight. Therefore, he decided to become a scientist! today you just need your degree in one of many sciences and you can become a mission specialist. We need more women astronauts!
How do you get a career at NASA? Look for shadowing opportunities. Look for an internship in NASA when you are a senior in high school.
What are you doing to advance the technology that we don’t know about? We need you! We have the James Webb Telescope due to launch in the next few years. “
The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The project is working to a 2018 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy.
FULL PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
“Asteroids present a mysterious, ancient, and potentially Earth-damaging threat within our Solar System. Many formed during the beginnings of our Solar System, 4.5 billion years ago, and some of them have very different, and sometimes eccentric, egg-shaped orbits. Occasionally their paths do cross the Earth’s orbit, and at times they enter the atmosphere where they either burn up as meterors or land as meteorites. Asteroids have created large features on the Earth, such as craters and water basins. This module helps students learn about NASA missions to study asteroids so they can gauge for themselves the threat of future asteroid collisions.”