The Universe series from the History Channel offers an epic exploration of the universe and its mysteries, providing an in-depth analysis from the planets to the stars to the edge of the known. As research into our universe has become more sophisticated,new secrets are yielded which help us understand our planet and the world beyond. Robotic rovers give us eyes on the red rock of Mars, NASA probes slam into comets at hyper
speed, and deep space telescopes capture amazing images of the birth of stars and their free-fall into black holes.
This one-hour episode entitled Colonizing Space focuses on one of the most important developments in the history of space exploration: colonization. The possible colonization of space is no longer the fodder of science fiction, it is becoming a reality.
This episode examines the possibility of establishing a human colony on Mars, including how humans might grow food, recycle wastewater and introduce greenhouse gases to revive the red planet and make it more habitable
for humans. The possibility of life on Mars is one of the central questions that students today might consider as advances in space travel and research continue to develop. Interviews with key experts and colorful images reveal the latest information NASA researchers and scientists have compiled in their investigation of bringing humans to Mars. This episode is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about and discuss key priorities in space research, and to consider the methods scientists and astronomers use to determine the viability of new endeavors in space.
Curriculum Links For Colonizing Space:
Colonizing Space is appropriate for middle school and high school students. It would be useful for Science, Astronomy, Earth Sciences, and Technology courses. It fulfills several National Standards guidelines as outlined by the National Council for History Education including 1) Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation, and 2) Human Interaction with the Environment.
Learning Links For Colonizing Space:
This website is the companion site to the History Channel Series. In addition to beautiful images of the universe by NASA, you can explore an interactive universe that allows you to explore everything from our planets to black holes (one of my favorite things on their site). Source: History.com
NASA Ames has put up a very helpful site that answers many of the basic questions surrounding the idea of space colonization, in addition, it sponsors an annual space settlement design contest for 6-12th grade students. Source: NASA
The ecological COLONIZATION OF SPACE
Can we colonize space with ecology in mind? This essay explores what precautions should be taken if and when we begin to colonize Mars or other planets. Source: Peder Anker, Environmental History