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Earth Calling…

First page of Earth Calling…

Product Type: Lesson Plan/Activity
Audience: Educators
Grade Levels: 6-8
Publication Year: 2011
General Science: Energy Heat and Magnetism; Light; Solar System and Stars; Space Vehicles
Space Science: Lunar and Planetary Explorations; Planetary Spacecraft; Solar System and Planets - Pluto
Technology: Communication; Space Vehicles

Some spacecraft return to Earth with valuable data as part of their cargo, but all require some periodic remote communications as they travel. And for those spacecraft that do not return to Earth, the communication system is the only link to the valuable data collected during its journey. In this activity, students simulate spacecraft radio communication concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Use the speed of light to measure the amount of time a radio signal takes to travel to a spacecraft.
  • Demonstrate the delay in radio communication signals to and from a spacecraft.
  • Devise unique solutions to the radio-signal-delay problem.

Earth Calling…  [1MB PDF file]

See also:
Signals and Noise Ratio
Signals and Noise, Oh Boy!

Page Last Updated: July 14th, 2015
Page Editor: Flint Wild