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Ronald Reagan on the Challenger Disaster
- President Ronald Reagan
On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, leading to the death of its seven crewmembers. The nation was stunned after this horrifying incident—about 17% of the nation watched it live on television. That same day, President Ronald Reagan delivered this speech to the grieving nation.Pair “Ronald Reagan on the Challenge Disaster” with “What Is the International Space Station?” and ask students to discuss how space travel has changed over time. What dangers are present in exploring space? What new challenges do students think scientists will encounter as they try to send astronauts deeper into space?
What is an Orbit?
The informational text “What is an Orbit?” explains what an orbit is, the forces that allow objects to stay in orbit, and how both natural and man-made bodies orbit each other in space.Pair “What Is an Orbit?” with “What Is the International Space Station?” to provide students with additional information about the International Space Station. What makes the International Space Station a satellite? How does “What Is an Orbit?” explain other types of satellites and what they're used for? Ask students to discuss how both texts explore the important discoveries that can be made from space.
Who Is Katherine Johnson?
Katherine Johnson was a trailblazing African American mathematician who worked for NASA during the Apollo space missions.Pair “Who is Katherine Johnson?” with “What Is the International Space Station?” to provide students with information about what it takes to get someone into space. Ask students to consider whether or not the success of the International Space Station would have been possible without Johnson's contributions to NASA. How do both texts help students understand the work required to send someone into space?
A New Spin on a Space Horse
- Ken Croswell, Ph.D
In the informational text “A New Spin on a Space Horse,” Ken Croswell discusses a spinning nebula known as the Horsehead Nebula.Pair “What is the International Space Station?” with “A New Spin on a Space Horse” and ask students to discuss how scientists study space. How does being able to live in space help scientists learn about it? What tools do scientists need to see occurrences like the Horsehead Nebula? Why?