Planet Exploration Mission

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In this activity, learners design a scientific exploration mission to a planet or moon of their choice. Learners must consider questions such as which planet or moon to explore, distance of mission space travel, manned or unmanned mission, atmosphere and possible lifeforms on the destination moon or planet, and technology needed to explore the destination planet. This activity can be coordinated with the Habitable Worlds and Extreme Lifestyles activities found in the same astrobiology guide. This activity can be found on pages 52-53 of the activity guide. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Worksheet – Planet Exploration Mission
  • Habitable Worlds Cards
  • Extreme Lifestyles Cards
  • Worksheet – Solar System to Scale
  • Worksheets – Extreme Lifestyles
  • Worksheets – Habitable Worlds


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
    • Solar System
      • The Moon
      • The Planets
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, TERC, 2007

Funding Sources:

  • NASA, NAS5-26555
  • National Science Foundation, NSF 9730728