Why We Explore

why do we explore?
Why Do We Explore?

From the time of our birth, humans have felt a primordial urge to explore -- to blaze new trails, map new lands, and answer profound questions about ourselves and our universe.

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Exploration History

Apollo 8 spacecraft
This Month in Exploration

Visit every month to find out how aviation and space exploration have improved life for humans on Earth and in space.

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Conferences and Speeches

ESMD speeches
Find past speeches and conference materials here!

Find past speeches and conference materials here!

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NASA Kids' Club


    Education in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate

    NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) is responsible for building the next fleet of space exploration vehicles that will maintain International Space Station supply after the shuttle's retirement, transport the next human lunar mission, and perhaps take humans to Mars.

    Education in Exploration Communicating the goals of America's space exploration policy is extremely important, as is educating the explorers who will lead us back to the moon. To aid educators who want to use NASA in the classroom as part of their daily curriculum, ESMD has created a wealth of materials that can be downloaded in minutes at no cost.

Featured Education Items from ESMD

NSBRI summer internships focus on return to the moon

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s (NSBRI) Summer Internship Program provides an introduction to the health concerns associated with long stays in space. The 10-15 week program offers unde...

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Rockets Educator Guide -- Grades K-12

Rockets guide for teachers

The Rockets Educator Guide has information about NASA's newest rockets. The guide contains new and updated lessons and activities to teach hands-on science and mathematics with practical applications.

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ESMD Internship Opportunities

ESMD Education Grants

ESMD Higher Education Grants program aims to train and develop the highly skilled scientific, engineering, and technical workforce of the future needed to implement the Vision for Space Exploration.

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› Read An Intern's Success Story

No Boundaries - A NASA-USA TODAY Education Initiative

No Boundaries Education Project

Becoming a NASA professional is challenging, but achievable. If you have the curiosity, creativity, determination and problem-solving skills necessary, then the opportunities at NASA are limitless.

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Field Trip to the Moon

Field Trip to the Moon

Take a virtual trip to the Moon in the immersive Hayden Planetarium. Feel the ground shake beneath you as you experience a thrilling NASA rocket launch. Guided by a live presenter, you will orbit the ...

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The 21st Century Explorer

21st Century Explorer

NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration depends on our students, the next generation of space explorers. The 21st Century Explorer project is designed to engage students in science, technology, engineerin...

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Lunar Nautics: Designing a Mission to Live and Work on ...


Students will design, test, analyze and manage a space mission from initial concept to project funding while using this set of hands-on activities.

Find Teaching Materials

    Screen capture of the materials finder
    Looking for Classroom Materials?
    NASA's Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources.

    >  Find Materials Now

Video Podcasts

Education News

Buzz Lightyear in Space

Resources for Educators

  • CORE: Resources for your classroom

    What Is CORE?  →

    CORE serves as the worldwide distribution center for NASA-produced multimedia materials.

NASA Educator Resource Centers