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									                                          WEB QUEST
                                         SPACE TRAVEL
                                            (Grades 4 and 5)


The exploration of space had a very exciting beginning. Two countries were racing against each other to
be the first country to put a man on the moon. This race pushed both countries to try very hard to create
new technology that would make them the leader in the race.

In this web quest, you will follow the progression of the United States Space Program from its beginning
to the present. You will learn what events pushed the United States into entering the space race and how
the rocket and the digital computer made it possible for us to learn what we know today about Space, the
Final Frontier.


Task 1: Use the World Wide Web to learn about the major events that shaped the United States Space
Program and record your answers to the questions on the web quest form provided by your teacher.

Task 2: Use the answers you find to understand the events that were important in pushing the space
program forward and how the computer and the rocket were important in the success of our exploration of

Task 3: In small groups, discuss your findings with others and plan a way to present what you have
learned to the class.


                              PART 1: THE DAWN OF THE SPACE AGE

                      Use the following website to answer the questions below:

Before answering the questions, become familiar with the interactive time line by scrolling completely
through the information in the top window and by clicking on one of the two areas in the bottom window to
read what appears on the screen above it. Once you understand how to use the timeline, it will be easier
for you to find the answers you are seeking.

1. What type of rocket was created in 1949 that would later be used for space exploration?

2. How did the invention of UNIVAC, the first digital computer used for commercial
   purposes, help open the doors to space travel?

3. What happened on October 4, 1957, and how did it affect American space exploration?

4. What previous invention made this event possible?

5. What was started as a result of this major event?
6. What two countries participated in the “Space Race?”

7. How much time passed between the launch of Sputnik and when America was
   able to launch its first satellite? (Calculate this yourself.)

8. What was the name of this satellite launched by the United States?

9. What country put the first man into space and what was the name of the man?

10. Who became the first American to orbit Earth on February 20, 1962?

11. What was the name of the spacecraft this American used to orbit Earth?

12. How much time passed between when the first Russian and the first American
    orbited Earth? (Calculate this yourself.)

13. Each time the United States made a step forward in space exploration, what
    had just happened? What does this tell you about the United States?

14. What was the name of the first space program started by NASA?

15. What did this space program accomplish?

16. What was the purpose of the Apollo Program?

17. What event ended the “Space Race?”

18. Where did the Lunar Module Eagle from Apollo land?
                                     PART 2: BEYOND THE MOON

Once the space race ended, the United States turned its attention to learning more about the planets.
Many unmanned spacecraft were sent on missions to fly past certain planets and send back information
about the climate, temperature, surface characteristics, etc. Answer the questions below to find out what
the United States has learned about our solar system and beyond.

              Use the following website to find the answers to the questions below:
             Click on the names of the planets to find the information being asked for.

1. Which U.S. spacecraft was the first successful spacecraft to fly past Venus and enter a solar orbit?

2. When did this event occur?

3. What was the first U.S. spacecraft to fly by Mars? On what date did this occur?

4. What information about Mars did this spacecraft send back to Earth?

5. What was the first U.S. spacecraft to enter into an orbit around a planet other than the Moon?

6. What information did it send to Earth? Where is it today?

7. What was the first U.S. spacecraft to land on the Mars’ surface?

8. List three spacecraft that have traveled to Jupiter or beyond.

9. What information did the Titan Probe send back to Earth?

10. Which spacecraft flew to Uranus and Neptune on the same trip?

11. What types of spacecraft are we presently using to do work in space? (besides space probes)

12. What new spacecraft has been designed to eventually replace what is being used today?

13. What other space travel do you think will occur in the 21st century?

14. How was the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union helpful to space exploration?

Think of a way you can present what you have learned about the United States Space Program to the
rest of the class. A few possible ways to present your information are:

1. A poster timeline showing each major step taken by the Soviet Union and the United States and the
   dates when each occurred (with pictures).

2. An oral presentation where each group member tells about one of the important steps taken by each
   country. Have each group member wear a label, hat, or costume that indicates which country he or
   she is representing and show a picture of the event.

3. A report such as PowerPoint or HyperStudio presentation and/or poster about the technology of the
   rocket and the computer and each was vital to the success of the space program. Show how the
   computer and rocket were used in each major step of the space program: launching a satellite,
   putting a man in space, having an astronaut orbit the Earth and safely return, landing on the moon,
   sending probes to planets and sending back information, the use of a reusable spacecraft like the
   space shuttle, and the creation of the International Space Station.


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