Classroom Activity

Text Size

Earth Calling…
First page of Earth Calling…

The information in this document was accurate as of the original publication date.

Audience: Educators
Grades: 6-8

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!