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© 2019 by Elizabeth Rusch

EXPLORE MORE!: THE MIGHTY MARS ROVERS!

A New Journey to Mars
Where Are They Now?

Opportunity

Check out this great video on Opportunity’s explorations on the red plant for eight years and counting! 

Wonder what Opportunity is up to now? Check out NASA’s mission update page!
 

Spirit

Watch this stirring video celebrating Spirit’s six years exploring Mars
 

 

 

The Mars Exploration Rover mission was a success. Now the Mars Science Lab rover called Curiosity is going to learn even more about the Red Planet. Get the latest on the rover, which successfully landed on Mars on August 5, 2012 on Curiosity’s mission page.

Watch this amazing video of footage from mission control, real footage of the landing, melded with cool simulations that show what was going on each step of the landing.

This video shows Curiosity getting ready for surface operations.

Watch a video of Curiosity’s cool exploration tools and an amazing landing simulation.

 

Watch a video on Curiosity’s landing site, Gale Crater.

 

See Curiosity’s launch!

 

 

Videos & Images
Fun Martian Activities

Activity: Eat Like an Astronaut

Here's What You Need 
1/8 cup any flavor instant pudding mix
1/4 cup milk
zip-lock baggie
scissors

 

Here’s How You Make It
1. Pour pudding mix and milk into a zip-lock bag.
2. Close the bag tightly and securely.
3. Gently knead the mixture inside the bag until pudding forms.
4. Snip off one of the corners with scissor.
5. Squeeze the pudding into your mouth.
6. Enjoy like an astronaut!

 

Activity: Make a Straw Rocket
Kids can ​create rockets to launch manually from a straw.

Here’s How You Make It

  1. Wrap a rectangle of paper around a pencil.

  2. Tape the paper to form a tube. 

  3. Fold and tape one end of the rocket to close off the end. 

  4. Fins can be cut and taped to the sides. 

  5. Remove the rocket from the pencil and put it on the end of a straw. 

  6. Blow to launch!

 

Find the template here.

 

Activity: Make a Mars Crater Cake

 

Here's What You Need
Cake pan
Flour
Sprinkles
Coco powder
Rocks of different sizes

Here’s How You Make It
1. Fill cake pan with flour (about 1 inch, spread out smoothly).
2. Sprinkle an even layer of sprinkles on top of flour.
3. Cover layer of sprinkles with coco powder.
4. Drop rocks to create craters! This simulates a crater creating impact!
You will see an indent (the crater), sprinkles (mineral diversity), and flour rays (subsurface materials). You just created your own geologic excavation! Try with different sized rocks from different angles! Are the patterns different?

Check out this video to see it done!

 

Activity: Make an Edible Mars Rover

Here’s a fun way to become familiar with the equipment and tools on the Mars Rovers – and to create your own Mars rover out of candy! (This would make fun party activity.)

1. Look at the labeled photos of Curiosity
2. Gather supplies such as: straws, toothpicks, sturdy paper plate or cardboard for building platform, paper towels, butter knife or scissors. You’ll probably need frosting.
3. Gather some fun food to work with: Try graham crackers, Smarties, creme wafer cookies, large and small marshmallows, snack-sizes Kit Kats, peppermint patties, Rolos candies and/or Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, gumdrops.
3. Use the materials to design or recreate a model candy rover!

 

 

Activity: Design Your Own Mars Rover
Draw a picture of your own invention of a Mars Rover. Each Mars Rover has specific tasks it must perform.

 

Label the parts and their functions, or what they do.

  • How did your Mars Rover land?

  • How does your Rover get around? Does it work on unstable ground?

  • How is it powered?

  • How does it collect samples?

  • How does it record images of its surroundings?

 

Send your picture to author@elizabethrusch.com and Liz will post it on her website!

Printout for coloring a rover

Printout for designing a rover

 

Awesome Photo Gallery

Part of the rovers’ mission was to photograph the geography, landscape, and features of Mars. Check out these cool images captured by their cameras!

Cool Video Clips

Sift through NASA’s entire video collection.

Mars in a Minute Series

How do you get to Mars? 
Is Mars really red? 
How do you land on Mars?