Module: Destination Mars

Destination Mars


This module introduces students to some of the ideas, technologies and concerns surrounding a future manned mission to the planet Mars. After an introduction to the red planet, we undertake a practical activity that explores how mission planners would go about getting an unmanned mission to Mars. We then look at past, current and future missions, and summarise what they have taught us about our smaller neighbour. After the break, participants get a chance to control their own Mars rovers, as they set about exploring a simulated martian surface. We finish by challenging students to design their own Mars base-camp, which brings together and reinforces ideas presented earlier in the module. By the end, participants should have a clearer understanding of what’s involved in exploring a distant world, and what might be possible within their own lifetime.

Age Range

11 – 14


90 minutes

Module Composition
  • Introduction to Mars – Presentation
  • Mission to Mars – Practical Activity
  • Mars Exploration – Presentation
  • Control a Mars Rover – Practical Activity
  • Design a Martian Base-Camp – Practical Activity
Extension Activities
  • Mars One – organisation investigating the possibility of establishing a human settlement Mars.
  • Mars Exploration – overview of NASA’s exploration activity on Mars.
  • HI-SEAS – crews undertaking a Mars habitat simulation mission.
  • Mission to Mars – simulator of Mission to Mars.

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