NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars in about 15 years. It will be the first time people have set foot on that planet. Read about how NASA is getting ready.
A Cold, Dry Planet
Mars is a cold place. It has red rocks and soil. It is about half the size of Earth.
Astronauts on Mars will need to grow their food. Scientists are testing ways to do that. This lettuce was grown in space.
New Space Suits
NASA is testing new space suits. Astronauts will wear the suits on Mars. This is the Z-2 suit. It is very light . Astronauts can move around easily when they wear this suit.
Getting to Mars
Orion is a new spacecraft. NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars in Orion. It will take them six to nine months to get there.
There are eight planets in our solar system. Mars is one of Earth’s closest neighbors. It is about 140 million miles away from Earth.
Would you want to go to Mars? Why or why not?
Robot on Wheels
This is a robot vehicle called Curiosity. It is studying rocks and soil on Mars. Curiosity is about the size of a car. Read about some of Curiosity’s parts. Then answer the questions.
1. How many wheels does Curiosity have?
2. What part sends back photos to Earth?