A New Era for Space Travel
Updated: Aug 9
For those of us who have dreamed of being an astronaut one day, this has been a magical couple of years! Some of the amazing events and milestones we’ve seen include:
SpaceX’s launch, spacewalk, and splashdown return. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/02/science/spacex-astronauts-splashdown.html)
Comet NEOWISE was visible with the naked eye. (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/how-to-spot-comet-neowise-before-it-disappears-for-thousands-of-years)
Closest images of the sun ever. (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/solar-orbiter-returns-first-data-snaps-closest-pictures-of-the-sun)
The 50th anniversary of the moonlanding, leading to some inspiring movies such as Apollo 11 and First Man. (https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/12/17848838/first-man-movie-review-ryan-gosling-damien-chazelle-neil-armstrong-tiff-2018)
The Launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. (https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8724/nasa-ula-launch-mars-2020-perseverance-rover-mission-to-red-planet/)
Curiosity and Exploration
Astronomy is an extremely popular topic with students, whether as an elective or a way to fulfill a mandatory science requirement. But beyond just memorizing equations and constellation locations, it’s an opportunity to truly inspire students to think and dream big. NASA’s Chief Historian Steven J. Dick said we have “inbuilt curiosity and penchant for exploration, one might say [that is] the very definition of what it is to be human.” (https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/Why_We_09.html)
A better understanding of space travel impacts what we do here on Earth. In the book Rocket Dreams: How the Space Age Shaped Our Vision of a World Beyond, author Marina Benjamin says that exploration of space has influenced how we see things as humankind. "The impact of seeing the Earth from space focused our energies on the home planet in unprecedented ways, dramatically affecting our relationship to the natural world and our appreciation of the greater community of mankind, and prompting a revolution in our understanding of the Earth as a living system," she wrote.
Aeronautics and Space Travel course
Pointful Education’s course is a fantastic blend of both the history and the future of space travel. And it examines both the practical and the potential. Some of the exciting topics covered in the course include:
- The history of the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs
- Satellites and space junk
- Colonies on the moon and Mars (impossible or just a matter of time?)
- Asteroid Mining – a trillion-dollar opportunity
- Will we discover life on the moons of Jupiter or Saturn?
- Spacecraft technology and the possibilites of interstellar travel
When our team is at education conferences, often we hear from teachers and administrators the following: “I wish I could go back to school and take THAT Pointful Education!” Aeronautics and Space Travel definitely falls in that category!