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How long can people (and animals) survive in outer space?
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How long can people (and animals) survive in outer space?
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DISCUSS:

What kinds of things do you think make outer space dangerous?

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DISCUSS:

What dangers do you think there might be living inside the spacecraft?

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DISCUSS:

Which traits do you think changed while Scott Kelly was in space? Why do you think those traits changed?

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the Exploration and Activity you just completed.
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Activity: Touchdown!

This cool activity challenges students to build a “lander” from simple materials, such as straws, paper, and mini-marshmallows. The goal is to create a design that will keep astronauts from getting hurt when they land on another planet. Discussion questions, extensions, and a downloadable PDF, available in both English and Spanish, are included. (Grades 3–8, NASA/JPL)

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Readings

Readings from Newsela are free with registration and can be adjusted for reading level. Writing prompts and quiz questions are available for most readings.

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Videos

Whether you’re trying to move or work or even just breathe, living in space is filled with challenges.

  • In this video, astronaut Mark Vande Hei explains how he stays fit aboard the International Space Station. (2:57, ESA)
  • How long would you last unprotected on another world? Not long, as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains. (2:45, Business Insider)
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Print Prep
Activity Prep

In the Mystery, students examine how physical traits can be influenced by the environment. In the activity, Astronaut-in-Training, students analyze how a NASA astronaut’s traits changed during his “year in space.” Then they measure some of their physical traits (arm strength, height, and balance) and predict how their own traits might change after living in space.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Traits in Space worksheet 1 per student
Traits in Space Answer Key worksheet 1 per class
Rulers
1 ruler per student
Post-Its (3")
1 post-it per student
Prep Instructions

We recommend that students work in pairs. Homeschool students working alone will need help with some steps.

Each pair of students will need floor space where they can do push-ups and walk 15 heel-to-toe steps in a straight line. They will also need wall space where they can do push-ups against the wall.

Extensions