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Space History for Future Astronauts and Engineers


The history of space exploration is filled with ingenuity and inspiration. This class sparks interest in science, engineering and adventure by tracing that history and then letting students put their new knowledge to work as they plan their own space mission.

Students will learn about NASA’s beginnings and follow the stories of trailblazing astronauts, including Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. They will look at how technologies developed for the space program have transformed our lives on Earth. The class will also survey conditions on other planets and look ahead to future missions. Students will apply what they have learned as they create a model of a habitat to support human life on Mars and plan a mission to transport their habitat to the Red Planet.

What You Will Learn


Learn about the history of space exploration and space technology, and then design a Mars habitat. 

  • Trace the history of NASA, from the early space race to the present day.
  • Learn the stories of trailblazing astronauts, both past and current.
  • Survey technologies used and created by NASA.
  • Look ahead to emerging technologies that will change the nature of space exploration.
  • Gain an understanding of the conditions on different planets and the challenges humans face in exploring those planets.
  • Come up with a plan for a Mars habitat and build a model.
  • Write a report laying out your plan to transport the habitat to Mars.

Return to the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy website here.

Note: Upon successful enrollment of a section, students will receive a confirmation email from our Student Services team. This email will include a link to an authorization form that is required to be completed within 72-hours of enrollment. 

In response to COVID-19 health guidelines, we have restructured our in-person Junior Academy workshops as online courses. Contact us at if you have questions.

Course Number: HIST-90004
Credit: 1.50 unit(s)