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Become a nitrogen atom in the nitrogen cycle in our Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit/Game. See all our games, activity kits and classroom activities.

Exploring Space

For as long as there have been people on Earth, we have looked up at the sky and wondered about the Sun, Moon, stars, and spectacular events we saw there. But it is only in the past 40 years that we developed the technical ability to leave our planet and actually visit other bodies in the universe.

After World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union created programs to build rockets powerful enough to make space travel possible. What then followed was a race to travel into space with unmanned probes and manned spacecraft.

During the last four decades, hundreds of satellites, probes and space shuttles have been launched, which have explored near-Earth space, travelled to the Moon, the Sun, and to all the planets except Pluto. And, with entire laboratories already in orbit around Earth and telescopes exploring more and more of our universe, space research is still continuing. Talk of future developments includes building a base on Mars, searching for life in other galaxies, and other exciting programs.


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Star Wars Exhibition Brings Reality to Fantasy

A new museum exhibit shows that some of the robots, vehicles and devices from the Star Wars films are close to the types of things scientists have developed to use in space. The exhibition--at the Science...more

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is really neat! It was first launched in 1990, but scientists started building it in the 1970's! We have found all kinds of objects like stars, nebulae and galaxies. The...more

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 was the first mission that landed a person on the moon. On July 16, 1969, the U. S. rocket Saturn 5 was launched carrying the lunar landing module Eagle. The Eagle was released and it reached...more

Apollo 12

Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969 and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to its surface, while Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the...more

Apollo 15

Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more

Deep Impact Mission

NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program. This program is for cheap, scientific projects. In May 2001, NASA said it was ok to start with mission development for...more

Galileo

Galileo was a spacecraft that orbited Jupiter for eight years. It made many discoveries about Jupiter and its moons. Galileo was launched in 1989, and reached Jupiter in 1995. The spacecraft had two parts....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF