Expand your out-of-this world vocabulary over the winter break with these terms and suggest ones to add using #martianclassroom on social media!
Aeronautics- takeoff and landing are the most thrilling part of a trip on an airplane (next to free peanuts, of course.) The word aeronautics means the science of flight, including the operation of flying machines. In your martian classroom, you can start exploring more than just planes, but spaceships and much more!
On a side note, ever hear the phrase, “sweet dreams and flying machines?” Growing up, this was a wish my family members and I would exchange at bedtime in place of the typical “goodnight.” It wasn’t until recently (meaning today) that I discovered that the phrase is from a James Taylor song written the morning after he learned that his girlfriend had been killed on a flight on his way to surprise him with a visit. His song, Fire and Rain now has a whole new meaning to me, as I had never really thought about the words. Guess I’ll be retreating to the standard “good night” salutation on future visits!
Algae- Yes, it’s the green slimy stuff we find in wet areas. It’s the goop that causes us to slip and slide on the rocks in the river or the ocean. So why is algae included in the list of vocabulary for the martian classroom? Some of the varieties of photosynthetic organisms comprising algae could provide oxygen and food on long-traveling spaceships. Forget peanuts, did I just hear sushi and seaweed snacks? Bon appetit!
Ames Research Center (ARC)- Conducts critical research and develops enabling technologies in astrobiology, information technology, fundamental space biology, nanotechnology, air traffic management, thermal protection systems and human factors essential to virtually all NASA missions. Wait, what was that again? The research that happens in this Silicon Valley Research Center contributes to virtually every NASA mission!
If you want to hear highlights from conversations with the scientists, researchers, engineers, and astronauts in 2017, tune into this podcast: https://www.nasa.gov/ames/nisv-podcast-2017-end-of-year/
Arianespace- This French multinational corporation and commercial space service provider is considered the biggest competition for SpaceX. Visit the website for completed missions and stunning images. While on the site, be sure to watch their latest success, the launch of Ariane Flight VA240 with four Galileo satellites.
Armstrong Flight Research Center (ARFC)- Located within Edwards Air Force Base in southern California, Armstrong is NASA’s lead for aeronautics. From the coverage of the 2017 solar eclipse to the center’s supersonic research, explore the 2017 milestones of ARFC here.
Asteroid belt- An asteroid is a relatively small, inactive, rocky body that orbits the sun. Lying between Mars and Jupiter, the asteroid belt space contains a large percentage of the asteroids in our Solar System. According to NASA, an asteroid the size of an automobile enters the Earth’s atmosphere and burns up before reaching the surface, creating a fireball. A meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth every 2,000 years or so causing significant damage to the area. Talk about a touchdown!
Read about the 66-foot-wide asteroid that broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February of 2013 here.
Astronomical unit (AU)- A standard space measurement based on the distance between Earth and the Sun—some 93 million miles, or 1 AU. This makes the numbers smaller and easier to work with.
- What food products contain algae? Explore algae recipes and find ones that you would enjoy dining on for a long voyage through space.
- In 2015, Arianespace assured French Parliament that it could outcompete SpaceX and proved that it could surpass them in commercial launch orders. Who do you think is currently leading the competition?
- In 2012, the Astronaumical Unit was redefined, simplifying a confusing calculation into a single number. What other systems or even social constructs could use an overhaul?