Back to School!
How did it get to September again so quickly? I expect most of you have already started back to school for the new school year, and those that haven't will start again very soon. I hope you've had a break this summer, that you had a chance to relax, recharge, and hopefully visit some interesting geological sites and/or take part in some good professional development opportunities! Events so far this year will provide lots to talk about in your classrooms - the warmest year on record in the US, record drought, low water levels, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, new photographs from Mars - you name it! We are lucky that the science we care so much about is the most relevant science to the human experience.
There have been some substantial changes for me over the past several months - moving to Albany, New York, where I've joined the faculty in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Science. I will be teaching courses in environmental science and climate change, and will continue to focus much of my work on geoscience education, K-12 professional development, science literacy, and outreach. And of course, I am continuing in my role as executive director of NESTA and director of Windows to the Universe. Over the next several years, I will be working on an exciting new effort to develop an undergraduate level of the website, working in collaboration with faculty at the University of Albany.
This fall we will be offering an even more extensive set of workshops and events at the Fall NSTA Area conferences - see the entry below about these events for more information. I hope I get to see you there! Please do consider presenting at one or more of the fall NESTA Share-a-Thons, and we always welcome your assistance, if you are available to help at an Area conference!
On August 5, NASA's most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, landed on the Red Planet. Curiosity landed near the foot of a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter inside Gale Crater. During a nearly two-year mission, the rover will investigate whether the region ever had conditions favorable for microbial life.
Some of the tools Curiosity carries are the first of their kind on Mars, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking elemental composition of rocks from a distance. The rover will use a drill and scoop at the end of its robotic arm to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover. It will use a neutron-shooting instrument to check for water molecules bound into soil minerals.
The rover has already started to return amazing color images of the Martian surface. View Curiosity's latest images at the mission website. On August 27, Curiosity returned the first recorded human voice that traveled from Earth to another planet and back - a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the death of former test pilot and NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong. He was 82. "On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of the Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own.
Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.
For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, Armstrong's family has a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.
We will miss you Neil! Thank you for the inspiration!
This year, the Autumnal equinox will occur on September 22nd (the beginning of Fall for the N. Hemisphere and the beginning of Spring for the S. Hemisphere). At the equinox times in the Earth's revolution, the Earth is neither tilted directly towards nor directly away from the Sun. In other words, both hemispheres receive roughly equal amounts of sunlight. Equinoxes mark the seasons of autumn and spring and are a transition between the two more extreme seasons, summer and winter.
Contrary to what is commonly believed, day and night are not exactly of equal length at the time of the March and September equinoxes. On the day of an equinox, the geometric center of the Sun's disk crosses the equator, and this point is above the horizon for 12 hours everywhere on the Earth. However, the length of the day is defined as the period when some sunlight is visible, and this also happens when the upper edge of the Sun is visible but its center is below the horizon. The date at which the length of day and night are closest to being equal is called the equilux. The specific dates of equiluxes are different for different latitudes.
Sunspots are visual indicators of powerful magnetic disturbances on the Sun. Solar "storms", such as solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), burst forth from the active regions around sunspots. Upon arrival at Earth, these storms can bombard astronauts with radiation, disrupt satellite and radio communications, and generate beautiful auroras (Northern and Southern Lights). Learn more about sunspots from these pages on Windows to the Universe:
Did you know that Earth's North Magnetic Pole is actually the south pole of our planet's magnetic field? Did you know that the North Magnetic Pole is located in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada, about 810 km (503 miles) from the Geographic North Pole? Or that the South Magnetic Pole is just off the coast of Antarctica, in the direction of Australia, about 2,826 km (1,756 miles) from the Geographic South Pole? Did you know that the position of the North Magnetic Pole is shifting at a rate of about 41 km (25 miles) per year? Or that the influence of the Sun's fluctuating magnetic field can cause Earth's magnetic poles to migrate by 80 km (50 miles) or more each day? Find out more in our new "Earth's Magnetic Poles" page! For all the details, check out the Advanced level version of the page by clicking on the blue tab along the top of the page.
When there are different theories that all try to explain the answer to a scientific question or problem, how do scientists decide which one is right? This is a common problem in science, and we can find big unanswered questions with several different possible answers in every field, from physics to paleontology.
A good example of this is the question of why the dinosaurs went extinct—there are a lot of different theories that propose possible explanations, ranging from asteroid impacts to changes in mammals’ eating habits.
How do we know which is correct? We have to rely on the scientific method—we put together a hypothesis, we make predictions based on that hypothesis, we test our predictions, and then we adjust (or reject) our hypothesis in light of what we observe. In the example above, scientists have used this method to decide that some potential causes of the dinosaurs’ dying off (e.g., asteroid impacts, or increased volcanic activity) are much more likely than others to have contributed to the massive extinction that occurred at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
329 years ago, on September 17, 1683, Antony van Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society about his observations on the plaque between his own teeth and teeth of other people. Looking at it with a microscope of his own design, he reported that he had seen "very little living animalcules, very prettily a-moving". This was the first observation of bacteria.
The name "bacteria" was introduced only in 1838 by a German scientist, Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg, and is derived from the Greek word meaning "small staff". Later in the 19th century, Louis Pasteur and several other doctors and scientists suggested that some diseases may be caused by bacteria. Robert Koch was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1905 for confirming this theory.
Recent studies have found that bacteria are far more diverse than anyone had suspected. They comprise two out of three domains of life: Archaea and Eubacteria. The third domain, Eukaryota, contains all other living things, including plants, animals, protists, and fungi. This means we are more closely related to trees or amoebas than some bacteria are to other bacteria!
Listening to science podcasts is a great way to brush up on your own content knowledge! They are easy to "carry with you" on trips and they are free! You'll glean tidbits of information that will make your subject fun and fascinating, plus relevant, for your students.
The Windows to the Universe podcast zone is a great place to find brief podcasts produced by the National Science Foundation. Other favorite podcasts of ours include the Lab Out Loud podcasts produced by NSTA and the Astronomy behind the Headlines podcasts produced by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Listen, learn and enjoy!
NESTA is pleased to announce our sessions at the NSTA Area Conference for fall 2012.
Want to present at one or more of our Share-a-Thons? – Sign up to present at a NESTA Share-a-Thon at http://www.nestanet.org/cms/content/conferences/nsta/shareathons/apply.
NESTA Sessions in Louisville
Friday, October 19 - All events on Friday are in the Kentucky International Convention Center, L15
Saturday, October 20
NESTA Sessions in Atlanta
Friday, November 2 - All events on Friday are in the Georgia World Congress Center, B401/B402
Saturday, November 3
NESTA Sessions in Phoenix
Friday, December 7 - All events on Friday are in the Phoenix Convention Center, 132 A-C
We're happy to release the presentations, classroom activities, and videos taken during the AGU-NESTA GIFT workshop for K-12 classroom teachers held during the Fall 2011 AGU Meeting in San Francisco, California, on December 5-6. Please click on this Windows to the Universe page to view the workshop listings complete with presentation descriptions, and links to PowerPoint presentations, activities, supplementary materials, and videos. The workshop included presentations and activities on tsunamis, clouds, climate science field campaigns, the Pine Island glacier in Antarctic, and the dangers of airborne volcanic ash. Enjoy these valuable resources, and the accompanying videos!
We have recently added several new educational DVDs to the Windows to the Universe online store. Available DVDs include:
and the following resources from TASA graphics:
In the Windows to the Universe Teacher Resources section, we have many K-12 science activities on a variety of subjects including geology, water, atmospheric science, climate change, life, space weather and magnetism, and science literacy. Most of these activities are now available in PDF format.
Windows to the Universe Educator Members have free access to all downloadable PDF and PowerPoint materials in our Teacher Resources Activities section (a $230 value!), in addition to other benefits and services for Earth and space science teachers. If you are not a Windows to the Universe Educator Member, you can purchase individual PDF-formatted student worksheets, classroom activity descriptions, and supplementary materials (including downloadable PowerPoints) in our online store.
Want to save time collecting and prepping classroom materials? We have several classroom activity kits available in our online store for the following popular activities: Glaciers: Then and Now, Traveling Nitrogen Game, CO2: How Much Do You Spew?, and Feeling the Heat - Part 2. Most activity kits are available in a variety of sizes to fit your classroom needs.
Finally, we recently added several new titles to our collection of Earth and space science related books. New titles include:
As always, Windows to the Universe Educator Members get a 10% discount on all purchases from the online store - and this is on top of publisher discounts.
Windows to Adventure, a book series devoted to geology, astronomy, the planets, atmospheric science, oceans, and climate, uses fantasy characters, magical realms, and legends from regions around the world, to make science accessible to readers of 3rd or 4th grade. Angie and Rashad find a strange object in the woods that can take them on adventures, and into a magical realm of talking mountains and planets.
The first two books in the series have been released and future titles will come out approximately once a quarter through 2014. The books, translated into English, Spanish and French, will be available in e-Book or print-on-demand format via Kindle, Nook, and Kobo books. They can also be ordered through the science-learning website Windows to the Universe at the Science Store. Learn more about this exciting series at http://www.redphoenixbooks.com or follow Red Phoenix Books on Twitter (redphoenixbooks) or Facebook.
Table of Contents
Curiosity on Mars
Thank You Neil!
NESTA at NSTA
DVDs, Kits, Books
Windows to Adventure
Galileo Ed Network
Water is Worth It
VOTE Carson Contest
2012 Estuarine Event
Public Lands Day
Green Thumb Chall
Mars Explore Teams
My Air, My Health
National Fossil Day
Women in Geosciences
Map Day Oct 19
ES Week Contests
Natl Wildlife Refuge
Space Travel App
How about a little help planning your Earth Science classes at the start of the academic year?
The Teaching Planner is a new online tool developed by a team of science education experts that can help you to plan instruction for the whole year. It includes high-quality and carefully selected science and math web resources, plus you can enter your favorite materials. The resources are organized according to core ideas and type. The Teaching Planner includes lesson-planning capabilities, an integrated grade book, the ability to save and share resources, translation, and many other helpful features.
Announcements from Partners
Information about Opportunities with Stipends, Honorariums, or Awards for Teachers/students
A NASA Galileo Educator Network (GEN) Professional Development Institute (PDI) presented by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) and partners (including NESTA!)
Dates: Saturday–Sunday, September 29–30, 2012, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Become a NASA Galileo Educator Fellow through this 15-hour Professional Development Institute (PDI) for teacher leaders, teacher educators, and PD providers. The Galileo Educator Network (GEN) PDI emphasizes the integration of science content, science practices, and the nature of science as outlined in the national Framework for K–12 Science Education. Our goals include preparing participants to deliver their own GEN professional development to assist K–12 teachers with the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, in the context of astronomy and space science.
PDI participants will explore:
Participants in this GEN PDI will receive:
To Apply, go to the GEN PDI online application. For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NASA is accepting applications from teams of U.S. and International undergraduate and graduate students for the fourth annual Lunabotics Mining Competition. The event will be held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 20-24, 2013.
The Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, D.C., in February.
While Future City is first and foremost an engineering experience, there are also awesome prizes to win! Teams that win their Regional Competition advance to the National Finals. National Finals take place from February 17 to 22, 2012, in Washington, D.C. Future City provides round trip transportation and hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City for the team’s three student presenters, educator coach, and mentor, as well as two meals.
College student teams can develop innovative approaches to stormwater management, raise awareness of green design, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers. Students and advisors can start planning now; the competition opens fall 2012.
September is National Preparedness Month - a time to get prepared for emergencies like tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes! On the web site, you will learn how to get informed, make a plan, build a disaster readiness kit, get involved in your community, and prepare your business. There's even a section for fun and games for students.
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) celebrates its third annual Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 11, 2012, promoting water conservation and contamination prevention as ways to protect groundwater resources.
Are you a Citizen Geoscientist?
The AGI invites all geoscientists for workshops and visits with congressional members September 11-12, 2012.
Decision-makers need to hear from geoscientists. Join many of your colleagues for this two-day event uniting geoscience researchers, professionals, students, educators, engineers and executives in Washington D.C. to raise visibility and support for the geosciences.
The first day will be comprised of workshops at AGU headquarters followed by a second day of constructive visits from geoscientists with members of Congress or congressional staff on Capitol Hill to speak about the importance and value of geoscience (and geoscience-related engineering) research and education. This is a truly effective way to inform congresspeople and impact federal science policy.
Make a 15-second video about how water is important to you. The EPA will feature selected video clips as part of its anniversary celebration.
Submit now through September 14.
EPA's Aging Initiative, Generations United, the Rachel Carson Council, Inc., the Dance Exchange and the National Center for Creative Aging are pleased to present the finalists for the 6th annual intergenerational dance, photo, essay, and poetry Sense of Wonder contest. All entries were created by a multi-generational team. You are invited to cast your ballot for your favorite entry in each of the categories. Submit your ballot online (or email with your favorites to email@example.com) no later than September 24, 2012.
National Estuaries Day is an annual celebration of the vibrant coastal areas where rivers meet the sea - estuaries. Celebrated on the last Saturday in September (29th this year), National Estuaries Day is a great opportunity to learn more about these dynamic and important ecosystems and how you can help to protect them. Get involved in a planned activity or celebrate with a special school activity.
In the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free! View the list of 2012 participating museums! Tickets are good for Saturday, September 29, 2012, and a ticket is good for the ticket holder and a guest.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. In 2012, NPLD will be held on September 29 and will celebrate the theme "Helping Hands for America's Lands". During this yearly event, Americans work together to restore and connect with public lands through service projects and outdoor recreation. The efforts of hundreds of thousands of volunteers result in meaningful, positive impacts on communities around the nation. Register a site for NPLD or volunteer and make a difference!
NPLD educates Americans about critical environmental and natural resource issues including the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands. As a supporter of the Let's Move Outside and America's Great Outdoors initiatives, NPLD is especially dedicated to engaging young people to be active and conserve America's treasured places.
The Green Education Foundation is calling on schools and groups to join the largest youth gardening initiative! All participants have an opportunity to be awarded a $5,000 grant in recognition of their garden project. Over $10,000 worth of prizes has already been awarded to Green Thumb Challenge participants, courtesy of program sponsors. The deadline is September 30th.
The Green Thumb Challenge aims to connect children with nature and the healthy benefits of gardening as part of a nationwide movement to get kids growing. Whether sowing seeds during one class period, planting bulbs in one afternoon, or planning an outdoor garden that comes back year after year, you and your students can be part of the movement! GEF's gardening resources provide participants with helpful materials and strategies for gardeners of all experience levels. It doesn't need to cost much money, or require many resources - it's really up to you! Every garden, no matter its size, will add beauty and life to what was there before.
Take advantage of free activities and standards-based lessons linking the classroom to the garden. Kids will be excited to get their hands in the soil, learn while using all their senses, and make real connections to their classroom curriculum.
GreenWorks! is a service-learning, community action grant program for educators, students, and communities. The program focuses on environmental neighborhood improvement projects. Eligible schools must have established Green Teams and must have completed one or more of the Project Learning Tree GreenSchools! Investigations.
Deadline: September 30, 2012 (Proposals are available now.)
The Mars Exploration Student Data Teams (MESDT--http://mesdt.asu.edu) are looking for teams of students to participate in a free program for the 2012-13 school year, where student teams work with scientists, mission planners, and educators from the CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) group at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory. Student teams research images of Mars using the CRISM instrument (http://crism.jhuapl.edu/), which is currently on-board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). They will work with real data from the CRISM instrument to assist with locating future mission landing sites, finding mineral traces associated with certain surface features, and in some cases, submitting targeted observations of the surface of Mars! This opportunity will help build confidence and STEM-related skills for students in order to prepare them for future careers in STEM-related fields. MESDT has developed curriculum and activities that are aligned with the National Science Education Standards. This program is free-of-charge and is open to teams from grades 9-college across the U.S.
Applications are being accepted now through Oct 1, 2012. For more information please visit http://mesdt.asu.edu or e-mail Brian Grigsby at Brian.Grigsby@asu.edu For an application to participate, complete the form at http://marsed.mars.asu.edu/mesdt-5.
Do you have an idea about how to measure how pollution affects our bodies? EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) started "My Air, My Health," a nationwide challenge with cash awards for inventing personal, portable sensors that measure air pollution and physiological response. The challenge runs through October 5.
Recycle-Bowl aims to establish new recycling programs within schools, increase recycling rates in schools that currently recycle and provide teacher/student educational opportunities about recycling and waste reduction. A winner from each U.S. state and the District of Columbia will receive $1,000 based on the most recycled material per person per school. An additional grand prize valued at $2,500 will go to the top performer among the State Champions! Register by October 8 to compete.
Are you searching for funding for your outdoor classroom, schoolyard garden, or school greening project? Lowe's will donate $5 million to public schools and public school parent teacher groups at more than 1,000 different public schools per school year. The Fall 2012 grant cycle closes October 12, 2012. Find out more about this awesome opportunity!
If you became an Earth scientist, what would you actually do? What funds are available to help pay for your studies? How could you get real-world work experience while still a student? You’re invited to explore such questions during Earth Science Week (October 14-20, 2012) by celebrating the theme “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences.”
Earth Science Week 2012 will begin with the sixth annual International EarthCache Day on Sunday, October 14. The public is invited to join the Geological Society of America (GSA), which runs the global EarthCache program, and the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), which organizes Earth Science Week, in exploring this exciting and educational Earth science experience.
Time travel is in your future! The National Park Service and AGI are collaborating to kick off the third annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2012. On Wednesday, October 17, you and your students can participate in events and activities taking place across the country at parks, in classrooms, and online.
Please join the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) in celebrating the fourth annual Women in the Geosciences Day - Thursday, October 18 - during Earth Science Week 2012! Women in the Geosciences Day offers you a chance to share the excitement and advantages of geoscience careers with women of all ages, especially those early in their education.
On Friday, October 19, 2012, you are invited to join in the celebration of the first-ever Geologic Map Day! This special event will promote awareness of the study, uses, and importance of geologic mapping for education, science, business, and a variety of public policy concerns.
In celebration of Earth Science Week 2012 (October 14-20th), the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is sponsoring three national contests honoring this year's theme "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences." This year's competitions will feature a photography contest, a visual arts contest, and an essay contest.
Students, geologists, and the general public are invited to participate in this year's photography contest, "Earth Science is a Big Job." Entries must be composed of original, unpublished material, and must capture how Earth scientists work in your community.
This year's visual arts contest, "Imagine Me, an Earth Scientist!" is open to students grades K-5. Use artwork to imagine yourself as an Earth scientist! What would you study? How would you gather information? And what tools would you use?
Finally, students grades 6 through 9 may participate in the essay contest. This year’s essays must address the idea of "Geoscientists Working Together."
Submissions will be judged by a panel of geoscientists on creativity, relevance, and incorporation of the topic at hand. Selected winners will be awarded for their submissions. For details, please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/index.html
Overlapping Earth Science Week this year, National Wildlife Refuge Week is also being held October 14-20, 2012. The event celebrates the richness of the 550 units that make up America’s National Wildlife Refuge System.
NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads to fly on rockets planned to launch between 2013 and 2016. These miniature spacecraft, known as CubeSats, could be auxiliary payloads on previously planned missions.
Know a science student in middle or high school who’s fascinated by climate? Harvard University’s Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI) is collaborating with the Institute for Earth Science Research and Education to publish a series of peer-reviewed climate-related papers authored by middle- and secondary-school students.
The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with the EPA to recognize young people across the U.S. who are protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. It is one of the most important ways the EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s young people. One outstanding project from each region is selected for national recognition. Projects are developed by young individuals, school classes (K-12), summer camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship. Thousands of young people from all 50 states and the U.S. territories have submitted projects to the EPA for consideration. Winning projects in the past have covered a wide range of subject areas, including:
Evaluation results consistently demonstrate that the experience is a life-changing event for many of the young people and sponsors who participate.
Find out how to apply. The annual deadline for the regional award program is December 31.
A team of researchers may have discovered a way to hear earthquakes. Not the noises of rattling windows and crumbling buildings, but the real sounds an earthquake makes deep underground as rock grinds and fails catastrophically. Typical seismic waves have frequencies below the audible range for humans, but the August issue of EARTH shows you where to find the voice of one seismic monster: the March 11, 2011, magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake in Japan.
The 2012-2013 EarthScope Speaker Series is presenting scientific results of EarthScope research to faculty and students at colleges and universities. EarthScope explores the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the processes that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
A NASA-created application that brings some of the agency's robotic spacecraft to life in 3-D is now available for free on the iPhone and iPad. Called Spacecraft 3D, the app uses animation to show how spacecraft can maneuver and manipulate their outside components. Presently, the
"In the near future, we will incorporate the Cassini spacecraft, which is orbiting Saturn, the Dawn spacecraft, which is deep in the heart of the asteroid belt, and the Voyagers, which are right now at the very edge of our solar system," said Kevin Hussey, manager of visualization technology at JPL. "Looking down the road, we've got a veritable solar system full of spacecraft to work with."
Currently, Spacecraft 3D is only available for Apple formats, but should be available for other formats in the near future.
Need a little inspiration for the upcoming school year? Look no further! IDVSolution's photo stream on flickr has remarkable images that will get you (and your students) inspired! Use them as visual teaching aids, for classroom discussion or have your students examine them in small groups. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Here are some stunning examples:
Bipolar Earthquakes - global earthquakes since 1898, separated into North and South pole views
61 Years of US Tornado Tracks - 1950-2011 data shown visually by F-Scale
Major US Fires Since 2001 - a visual representation that is colored by units of nuclear power plant output
With NASA's Rocket Science 101, a new game designed for computer and iPad users, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to launch a spacecraft.
Rocket Science 101 is turning over the virtual selection, construction and launch of a mission to players. NASA's Launch Services Program (LSP), based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, does the same thing for real rockets and missions every day.
The source of this material is Windows to the Universe, at http://windows2universe.org/ from the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA). The Website was developed in part with the support of UCAR and NCAR, where it resided from 2000 - 2010. © 2010 National Earth Science Teachers Association. Windows to the Universe® is a registered trademark of NESTA. All Rights Reserved. Site policies and disclaimer.