Event Catalog

Mission to Mars Expedition

Target Audience
  • Students
Hosting Center(s)
  • Johnson Space Center
Subject Category
  • History
  • Life Science / Biology
  • Physical Science
  • Math
Unit Correlation
  • Exploring NASA Missions
  • Exploring Engineering and Technology
  • Exploring Space
Grade Level
  • 5-8
  • 9-12
Minimum Delivery Time
  • 045 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time
  • 050 min(s)
Event Focus

How would you protect a rover in order to make a safe landing on Mars?


This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conferencing.

Travel to the Red Planet and discover what it takes to land robotic missions on the uninviting terrain of the Martian soil. Be aware of intense dust storms, huge craters, enormous canyons and staggering volcanoes. Imagine trying to slow down delicate instrumentation from 12,000mph to 0 in a window of six minutes and, at the same time, to find a safe place to land. Think it can't be done? NASA has achieved these remarkable tasks with Spirit and Opportunity. Learn this and much more as we take you on a journey to the Red Planet!

Instructional Objectives



TLW share prior knowledge about Mars, and NASA’s past, present, and future missions with the NASA Education Specialist


TLW compare and contrast planets Earth and Mars in order to understand factors to consider in planning a mission to Mars


TLW discover how trajectory, launch windows, and communication delays impact the planning process for a mission to Mars


TLW examine the Mars Rovers missions from launch to landing in order to understand how future human missions to Mars may be planned and accomplished


TLW demonstrate their understanding of planning a mission to Mars by completing a post-activity assessment, and compare their results from their pre-activity assessment


Sequence of Events

Pre-Conference Activities

"Mars Rover Egg Drop and Landing (EDL)" Activity:


Students will complete the activity where they will

learn how to successfully execute an EDL


Detailed activity information    


For the complete module and event information, please see the Complete Educator Guide.


Complete Educator Guide    

Videoconference Activities

During the video conference, students will interact with a NASA Education Specialist as they explore Mars and recall facts from the pre-conference activities.  Students will travel to the Red Planet and discover what it takes to land robotic missions on the un-inviting terrain of the Martian soil.  They will learn how NASA accomplishes entry, descent, and landing of the Mars rovers during a six minute window.

Post-Conference Activities

Please see educator guide for any post conference activities




National Science Education Standards (NSES)


  • Science as Inquiry - Content Standard A
  • Science and Technology - Content Standard E


National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)


  • Standard 4 - Measurement Standard 8 - Communication
  • Standard 4 - Measurement Standard 8 - Communication


International Technology Education Association (ITEA)


  • Design - Standard 10
  • The Designed World - Standard 17