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Space Math III — Problem 7, The Deadly Van Allen Belts?

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depiction of three radiation belts around Earth



Grade Levels

Grades 9-12


Mathematics, Space Science, Algebra, Problem Solving, Space Radiation


Lesson Plans / Activities

In 1958, Dr. James Van Allen discovered a collection of high-energy particle clouds within 40,000 kilometers of Earth. These belts have long been known as “bad news” for satellites and astronauts, with potentially deadly consequences if too much time is spent within them. Apollo astronauts travelled through some of these belt regions because the orbit of the moon lies along the fastest line-of-travel from Earth. A one-page teacher guide accompanies the one-page assignment.
Problem 7, The Deadly Van Allen Belts?  [139KB PDF file]
This mathematics problem is part of Space Math III.