Category Archives: Interactive Materials

JPL Creates 3-D Visualization of Curiosity Rover Landing

Eyes on the Solar System Curiosity Simulation

Try the Eyes on the Solar System Curiosity simulation to view the NASA mission in real time!

JPL’s Eyes on the Solar System is a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA’s Voyager spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It’s up to you. You control space and time.

As a special feature for the Eyes on the Solar System program, you can now experience the Mars Curiosity Rover landing in real time! This visualization lets you ride with Curiosity all the way to the surface of Gale crater. Preview the events of Entry Descent and Landing, or watch live!

Visit the Eyes on the solar System website today to try this interactive simulation! Note: JAVA is required and the simulation will open in a separate window.


Be A Planet Hunter – Help NASA Find New Planets Using Kepler Data

Be a Planet Hunter!  Help NASA find new planets by using Kepler mission data.

The Planet Hunters website lets you be part of the discovery! The Kepler mission data includes brightness measurements, or “light curves,” taken every thirty minutes for more than 150,000 stars.  You, working as a planet hunter, will use the interface on the Planet Hunters website to find the points where star brightness changes.  Transit events – a brief changes in a star’s brightness – occur when planets pass in front of a star.  Find a dip in a star’s spark and you could point to a new planet!

The project’s first paper, Fischer, et al. 2011, ‘Planet Hunters: The First Two Planet Candidates Identified by the Public using the Kepler Public Archive Data‘ was published in September, and two more papers have recently been submitted: Schwamb, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: Assessing the Kepler Inventory of Short Period Planets‘ and Lintott, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: New planet candidates from the first year of analysis.

So far, over 10 million light curves have been classified by more than 100,000 users. To join the hunt, visit

If you enjoy helping in the search for new planets, you may also want to help with the other exciting projects at Zooniverse:

Live Video Chat: In Celebration of National Women’s History Month – March 22, 2012

In celebration of Women’s History Month, a panel of outstanding women at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., will answer student questions about their contributions to the missions and goals of NASA. Meet Judith Watson, a senior research engineer, Julie Williams-Byrd, an electro-optics engineer, Kimberly Land, a communications, education and public outreach manager, and Lindsay Rogers, a resources management analyst.

Join the video chat on Mar. 22, 2012 from 2-3 p.m. EDT to ask panel members questions about their career paths or the projects they work on. Submit questions during the chat through a chat window, or send them to

To learn more about NES, visit the NASA Explorer Schools website.

For more information and to view the video chat, visit

If you have any questions about the video chat, contact

NASA – Station Spacewalk Game

NASA's Station Spacewalk Game

Play the NASA International Space Station Spacewalk Game!

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Take a virtual spacewalk today and play on the ISS in this game offered free online from NASA.

Explore the International Space Station and try to perform some of the tasks assigned to astronauts working on the station. Complete missions to earn badges. It’s not as easy as you might think to navigate in space!

NASA – Station Spacewalk Game.


New ISSLive! Application Available for iPhone, iPad and Android

ISSLive! App

The new ISSLive! App is available now.

NASA announces the release of the ISSLive! app for iPhone, iPad and Andoid. This innovative, interactive app provides a novel way to learn about the International Space Station while on the go.

The ISS Live! app delivers live streaming data from the International Space Station. Users can take a virtual 3-D tour of the Mission Control Center and the space station, and view mission control console displays with real-time data. Interactive educational lessons using the data, as well as crew and science timelines with individual crew member, social media and international science experiment details are also available via the app.

To learn more and find links to download the ISSLive! app, visit

iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Android is a registered trademark of Google Inc.


New NASA Kids’ Club Activity: Window to Earth

NASA's Window to Earth Activity

Visit NASA's Kids' Club to try the new Window to Earth activity

Astronauts have a spectacular view of Earth from space. Move through the pages of Window to Earth and see images taken from space of these geographical features: peninsula, glacier, lake, desert, cape, island, upheaval dome, strait, waterfall, reef and volcano.

To take a peek and see how Earth looks from space, visit

For more fun activities, visit

What’s New at the NASA Space Place?

Science and technology permeate all our activities from driving a car to cooking to writing poetry. So when we study science and technology, why not incorporate some of those other activities? Why not use interests like art and music to think about and express our understanding of nature? The Space Place has lots of cross-disciplinary opportunities to help make nature unforgettable.

New at
Get the key to the treasure chest! The new “Go with the Flow” game at has you playing with salinity and heat, which have opposing effects on vertical water movement. Using heat and salt as tools, as well as horizontal currents and walls, you set up flow patterns that your little submarine can follow in order to reach the key that will open the treasure chest and get the gold.

After playing “Flow,” students are not likely to forget the roles that heat and salinity play on ocean currents. These are important principles to learn in order to understand the potential effects of climate change.

Space Place en español
¡Haz un mapa topográfico! But first, make a clay sculpture of a mountain. This hands-on arts and crafts activity shows how 3-D topography can be represented very accurately on a 2-D map. Using clay (or our recipe for modeling dough), dental floss, paper, pencil, ruler and toothpicks, students make a mountain of any shape, slice it horizontally using dental floss and outline the slices on a piece of paper. It could be an art project or a geography project. Either way, it’s lots of fun, and clearly explains the mystery of topo maps, which many people never understand. Go to

Spotlight on Music
Music is science and technology in the service of art. At least that’s one way to look at it. See (and hear) an example at Musical instruments are technologies. The most exquisite-sounding instruments represent technological excellence. But what makes the best instrument sound better than the second best instrument? In the case of Stradivarius violins, it’s believed to be the unique density of the wood, which grew only during a certain period of history. Why? Because of a lack of sunspots!

Another example of technology as a delivery mechanism for art is the Golden Records on each of the two Voyager spacecraft, now nearing interstellar space. These records are meant as messages from Earth in the event that intelligent alien beings someday encounter the probes. Students can see some of the photos of Earth and try to guess the identity of some of the sounds on the records at

For the classroom
Drumming is a form of music, but it can also be a form of precise verbal communication.

When people figured out how to add meaning to an electromagnetic wave, which is essentially a rhythm, a universe of possibilities opened up. Speaking in Phases is a classroom activity that demonstrates the difference between amplitude modulated (AM), frequency modulated (FM) and phase modulated signals. It’s not as hard as you might think. In this case, all that’s required is something to beat on — like drums or desks — and maybe a metronome or electronic keyboard that can make a steady beat.

Students learn the basics of how information is added to a carrier signal. Then they add their own meaning to the signal and communicate with each other using only the timing of beats. It truly teaches the most basic concept underlying all electronic communication, including radio, TV, phones, satellites and spacecraft far away in deep space. See

For out-of-school time
Almost everyone loves to eat. Why not make it even more fun by combining snack preparation with space exploration? The Space Place has several projects you can make, and then eat.

One project is Asteroid Potatoes, To cut down on mess, you can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time, and let the kids do the sculpting, baking (with supervision) and eating.

Another creative activity is making edible spacecraft or rockets. Tortillas make a wonderful base. You can even paint them (or paint small, cut-out pieces) with food coloring. Also provide colorful vegetables and fruits of many kinds, olives, cream cheese (for glue), chips and anything else you can think of that’s good to eat. Take pictures before they’re gobbled up. See some examples and recipes at

Special Days

January is National Whale Watching Month
Some species are endangered. See how satellites can help, and play “Migration Concentration” at

Feb. 12, 1809: Charles Darwin’s Birthday
Darwin is known for his theory of the evolution of species. Play with the “Emoticonstructor” and see one way evolution works at

Feb. 22: Thinking Day
Exercise your brain by going “VecàTouring” at

Feb. 25: Quiet Day
Even the most violent events in space make no sound. Make a Sound Cone to hear even very quiet sounds. See how at

NASA’s New Interactive Space Communications Game

NASA has released an interactive, educational video game called NetworKing that depicts how the Space Communication and Navigation, or SCaN, network operates. The release of the video game coincided with the close of World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2011.

Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., NetworKing gives players an insider’s perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers and scientists communicate during space missions.

To successfully construct fast and efficient communication networks, players first must establish command stations around the world and accept clients conducting space missions, such as satellites and space telescopes. Resources are earned throughout the game as players continue to acquire more clients. Players can use accumulated resources strategically to enhance and increase their networks’ capabilities.

Players with the most integrated communications networks will have the ability to acquire more complex clients, such as the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler mission.

NetworKing is available to the public for play on the NASA 3D Resources website. Players can access the game using an Internet browser. It can be downloaded and run on both a PC and Macintosh operating system. To play the NetworKing game, visit

In conjunction with NetworKing, the 3D Resources website also links visitors to the Station Spacewalk Interactive Game and the SCaN Interactive Demo that demonstrates the interaction between SCaN’s ground-and-space facilities and NASA spacecraft.

Declared by the United Nations General Assembly, World Space Week is an annual international celebration of science and technology commemorating the launch of Sputnik 1, the first human-made Earth satellite, and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty. The theme for World Space Week 2011 was “50 Years of Human Spaceflight.”

For more information about SCaN, visit

%d bloggers like this: