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STEM on Station -- Mathematics

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STEM on Station -- Mathematics

Filmstrip with various mathematics images


Science, technology and engineering all involve some degree of mathematics. This is true regarding the International Space Station and its microgravity environment. The orbit of the space station, the amount of storage space on the station, and the scale modeling used to design station components all engage mathematical concepts. See how mathematics applies to the science and engineering projects related to the space station.

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Related Lesson Plans

Earth, Moon and Mars Balloons -- Construct a scale model of the Earth-moon-Mars system by planetary size. Then discover how far one might have to travel to get to the moon or Mars.

How Much Is Waste? -- Measure the mass and volume of a food package before and after repackaging for spaceflight; determine the usable and waste portions of food selected for spaceflight.

Exercising in Space -- Students identify a direct variation, solve linear equations, and create tables based on the exercise equipment provided for astronauts on long-duration missions on the International Space Station. The equipment helps the astronauts maintain their fitness to perform mission objectives and to return to Earth without serious health complications.

Additional Resources

Woman in front of a graphing board Real World: Keeping the International Space Station in Orbit
Learn about the challenges of keeping the space station in orbit and how NASA counteracts orbital decay.


View through a porthole on the space station showing Earth's horizon Real World: What Time Is It in Space?
Learn how astronauts keep track of what time it is while aboard the space station by using Universal Time.


International Space Station What Are the ISS Attitudes?  →
Use the coordinate system to understand flight attitudes of the International Space Station.


The words International Space Station Challenge near a solar panel Challenge: Electricity and Power in Space  →
Use mathematics to ensure power to space station systems in this interactive problem-solving module.

Page Last Updated: December 19th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator