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Nov 15,2021 by Edulab
Not content with sending a rocket 200 million miles away from earth to land on an asteroid in the last year, space travel has been making headlines a lot again this year. From famous faces heading out into the universe, to the Perseverance rover landing on Mars, travelling into space has become more commonplace than ever before. Now is the time to ensure our younger generations are learning about the latest developments in space travel and our findings in the universe. Here at EduLab, we are passionate about providing lecturers, teachers, and technicians with the tools they need to teach the next generation about the worlds beyond our own. Today, we are looking at the latest developments in space travel how to pass this knowledge on to others.
The actor who famously played Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series has made the journey to space in real life. William Shatner has appeared on our TV screens many times over the years, but the majority of people know him for his portrayal of Captain Kirk on the USS Enterprise. This month, William Shatner set off as a passenger on the Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle and hurtled into space with Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries, and Dassault Systemes.
The out-of-this-world journey officially makes William Shatner the oldest person to travel to space, at the impressive age of 90. Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle carries passengers more than 100 kilometres into the atmosphere, and the journey only takes ten minutes. There has been some speculation whether this really counts as space travel, being such a minimal trip. However, it is widely regarded that the Karman Line, which sits at 100 kilometres above the earth’s surface, is the boundary between us and space. Since Shatner’s adventure took him past this line, it does officially count as travelling into space.
Shatner isn’t the only one who has been able to head into space in recent times. Huge advances in technology have led to space travel becoming a more normal activity. Going up into the atmosphere was once an experience reserved only for astronauts, but now those with enough money can choose space tourism for their next holiday. Jeff Bezos, the Amazon tycoon, has been making headlines recently as the owner of Blue Origin. He and his brother took part in the first ever journey made by the New Shepard rocket in July this year, and it seems others with enough money will be able to follow in their footsteps.
Blue Origin isn’t the only company making waves in the space tourism world. Virgin Galactic have also created a rocket plane which can reach heights of 86 kilometres. It is reported that 600 people have already reserved tickets for Virgin’s space flights, when they eventually become available. Tickets cost a huge $250,000, so while space tourism might be starting to become more readily available, it still isn’t open the masses just yet.
The millionaires among us might be finding ways to travel into space, but scientists are heading even further into the universe. This year, we have been able to explore more of Mars than ever before. Three international missions have landed on Mars this year, including China’s Tainwen-1, NASA’s Perseverance Rover, and the UAE’s Hope. Each of these have been huge advances in technology for space travel, and the Perseverance Rover carried the Ingenuity Helicopter to Mars. This helicopter will complete the first ever powered, controlled flight to take place on another planet.
With so many things changing in space travel in such a small timeframe, it can be challenging to keep up. If you are a science teacher, lecturer or any other kind of educator, there are plenty of tools to help you teach space to your students. We have a huge range of products available to help you demonstrate space travel and new technologies in this field.
The Microslide Introduction To Space kit can help students to study the moon, sun, planets, meteorites and more. For young children, the Science With Syke Key Stage 2 Trolley for Earth and Beyond is perfect. It covers everything you need for the whole curriculum, including studying our solar system, all in one easy to use trolley. We also stock a useful Astronomy Activity Set which is great for helping students explore outer space and learn planet positions, constellations and more.