Did you know that the first rockets were invented about 800 years ago and were used for fireworks? Today, rockets are the vehicles that allow humans to explore outer space and may someday even take us as far away as Mars (let’s hope someone sends a post card!) Here are five fun facts about rockets that are out of this world: • The first rockets were used to launch fireworks in the 1200s. That’s about 800 years ago – that’s even before your grandparents were born! • Before sending humans to space, scientists sent dogs and monkeys (and they even wore spacesuits designed just for them!) Do you think they brought biscuits and bananas with them? • In April 1961, the first human used a giant rocket to journey into outer space. He circled the Earth for 108 minutes without getting dizzy! • It takes a rocket only 8 minutes to accelerate to a speed of 15,000 miles per hour / 24.000 kilometers per hour (but maybe longer if there is a space jam). • In order to burst through the gravity of Earth, a rocket must travel at speeds of 7 miles per second / 11 kilometers per second. That’s even faster than a cheetah, the fastest animal on Earth! It takes a very special, fearless person to explore the universe. Do you think you are brave enough to fly a rocket into space?
Welcome to Mars!
Did you know that the first astronauts may travel to Mars sometime in the future? You or one of your friends could be on board, so it is important to learn everything possible about the red planet if you’re going to spend some time there! Here are 5 fun facts about life on Mars that will have you packing your bags in no time! • A year on Mars is almost twice as long as a year on Earth – 687 days. That’s a long time between birthdays! • Mars has a dusty environment that has unusual effects on the sky: in the daytime the sky has an orange color, and the sunrise and sunset are blue. • The average surface temperature on Mars is -81° F (-63° C.) Better bring your warmest pajamas and some hot cocoa! • Want to upload a selfie to social media back in Earth? You’ll need to be patient: it takes an average of 15 minutes for a message to reach Earth from Mars. • Feel like a road trip on Mars? Be sure to visit Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano in the universe. It stretches 16 miles (25 kilometers) into the Martian sky! Do you think one day people will go to Mars for vacations and to maybe even live? Would you like to be one of the first to go?
A spacesuit may not look as comfortable as a hoodie and jeans, but it allows astronauts to survive the extreme temperatures and dangerous radiation of space – and even safely scratch their noses when on a spacewalk. Are you ready to have your mind explode like a supernova? Check out these 5 cool facts about spacesuits! • Spacesuits are customized by connecting many interchangeable parts that fit different body types. Even dogs have worn spacesuits! • Astronauts wear white spacesuits because this color reflects the most sunlight and protects from cancer-causing radiation (and a sunburn in space would REALLY hurt!) • Spacesuits protect astronauts on spacewalks from extreme temperatures and allow them to move around comfortably. When the weather is this crazy, you can’t just wear a t-shirt! • A spacesuit weighs about 280 lbs when on Earth – without anyone in it. In space it weighs absolutely nothing, which means that astronauts can move around rather easily. • What happens if an astronaut gets an itchy nose while on a spacewalk? Since they cannot remove their helmet, there is a small piece of Velcro stuck to the inside that serves as a scratcher! If you plan to explore Mars, you will definitely need a spacesuit! What special functions and features will you include in yours? Better start building!
How fast is a Fire Truck?
Fire Trucks are big vehicles, carrying heavy equipment and a whole crew of strong, brave firefighters! Did you know that an average Fire Truck has 550 horse power?! That’s like 550 horses all lined up, attached to a truck, running at the same time – that’s a lot! A typical family car, like the one your parents drive or the one you ride in on your way to school has the power of about 140 horses. How would you add even more power to a Fire Truck if you were to build one? Would you add extra engines, or maybe bigger wheels? Comment below with your ideas!