Virtual Field Trip:
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in our solar system. Visit the surface of Mars in a 3D simulation, meet the Mars rovers, and build your own Mars lander!
- Explore the surface of Mars in 3D using real photos taken by Curiosity with Access Mars
Watch the intro video
Follow Curiosity’s path from its landing site, through the Pahrump Hills, the Marias Pass, and the Murray Buttes, all the way to its current location.
Make sure to click on icons for more information about Curiosity and the locations you are seeing!
3. Build a Mars lander
Watch the video below about the Phoenix lander
Your lander will mimic the final descent, after the parachute has detached and the retrorockets have turned on.
Construct the lander per the instructions on the print-out
Fly the lander per the instructions on the print-out
Test to see if you can improve the landing by changing:
The height from which you drop it
The amount of air in the balloon
Questions to Ask:
Why were some parts of the 3D map gray and some were in color?
What’s the difference between a Mars rover and a Mars lander?
How were each of the Mars rover missions different?
How do you think everyone at NASA was feeling during the Phoenix Mars landing, based on the video you watched?
There were no people aboard the Phoenix lander. Why was it so important that the lander touched down safely?
Expanding the Activity:
Design an Astronaut Lander with enough shock absorption to safely land two astronauts
Color this picture of the Curiosity rover
All About Mars: quick facts about the Red Planet (including why it’s called the Red Planet)
Mars Trek: View satellite imagery and perform analysis on data from Mars