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KS3 English - The science behind science fiction: The Unknown

Resources on the science behind science fiction to support your Year 8 Library lesson, compiled by your librarians.

Space Exploration

Space Exploration is the stuff of much Science Fiction . On this page you will find information on

Exploring the Unkown (Space exploration)

Mars Exploration 

Space Travel

Lightspeed travel

The latest 'Space Exploration' news from

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Questions about Mars?

Is there life on Mars?

Has there ever been life on Mars?

Missions to Mars

What is the future of Mars?

Click on the image above or link below to find your answers

NASA Mars exploration program

Read from the following link about the Mars Exploration program of NASA, know about their science strategy, Mars science laboratory, 

Remember to 'Ask Dr C' a question...

Would you travel to Mars?

Life On Mars from Lukas Vojir on Vimeo

Watch the video about 'Colonizing Mars' in the centre column.

What do you think?

Will you like to travel to Mars?

Would you travel to Mars?
Yes, I'd love to travel to Mars and live there: 1 votes (5.56%)
No, I don't think I'd like the climate there: 6 votes (33.33%)
I will go if I can return whenever I want to: 11 votes (61.11%)
Total Votes: 18

Travel in the universe

You may think that a lot of things are fast, like speeding bullets and Superman and the passage of time when you are having fun. But all of these things are nothing compared to the speed of light, which is the fastest that something can travel through the Universe.

click to see bigger image

Read from the University of California - San Diego about your trip options and explore the universe's milestones.

Videos in the Senior Library

Watch some interesting videos on space travel

Quotable quote

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." 

- Carl Sagan   (1934 - 1996) Planetary Scientist

Watch Dr Carl Sagan talk about Space travel HERE

Final resting place in space?

More Than 200,000 People Sign Up to go to Mars

Five months after the Netherlands-based private spaceflight project Mars One announced it would begin accepting applications for a one-way trip to the red planet, 202,586 people from more than 140 countries have submitted videos explaining why they should be chosen for the mission. Only a few dozen will be chosen for the 2023 mission to colonize the red planet.

Read story from the links below

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Global Exploration Roadmap - NASA

"The search for life is a central goal of space exploration.  Pursuing this goal continues the cultural quest of humankind to determine whether we are alone in the universe, and answers deeply rooted questions about our origin and evolution."  -  International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) 

The "Global Exploration Roadmap" is an update to a plan first put forward in 2011 that unites the interests of the space agencies of Italy, France, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine, Russia, the United Kingdom, as well as the European Space Agency and NASA.


Space travel, universe workings

Here some short videos looking at the science behind space travel and universe creation

As you watch, try and make up your own mind about the information...  

Look at the questions in the boxes in the left hand column and share your opinions.

Why we explore?

Why We Explore

Human Space Exploration

Humanity's interest in the heavens has been universal and enduring. Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further. The intangible desire to explore and challenge the boundaries of what we know and where we have been has provided benefits to our society for centuries. 

Why Asteroids?

By visiting these near Earth objects to study the material that came from the solar nebula, we can look for answers to some of humankind's most compelling questions, such as: how did the solar system form and where did the Earth's water and other organic materials such as carbon come from?

Why Mars?

Mars has always been a source of inspiration for explorers and scientists. Robotic missions have found evidence of water, but if life exists beyond Earth still remains a mystery. Robotic and scientific robotic missions have shown that Mars has characteristics and a history similar to Earth's,

Source : NASA

Explore the other links in this list to find websites with useful information on Space Exploration...

Lightspeed travel

Near-lightspeed space travel: Not as cool-looking as you think

(Credit: University of Leicester)

'If you never have the opportunity to travel at near-lightspeed in space, you won't be missing much. It actually looks a bit boring' says Amanda Kooser of CNet. 

Find out more...

Here are a few keywords to get you started with your search, can you think of any others?

Try adding one or two keyword in this 'Sweetsearch 4 me' searchbox.

'Sweetsearch 4 me' is a search engine that only finds resources suitable for school students:

Why spend money on space exploration?

The quest to understand our place in the cosmos has long mesmerized humanity. Dreams of space travel captivated our collective imagination long before the Space Race materialized as a reality.

Read from this letter by Isaac Asimov explaining why we need to explore space. 

Space travel by Carl Sagan

Non-fiction books in the Senior Library

Read about 'Space Travel' some of the books in the Senior Library

Fiction books in the Senior Library

Some of our fiction books about the unknown...

What does it sound like on Jupiter?

Please borrow / use headphones when in school, Thks :-)

Journal Articles