NASA’s Space Launch

If you didn’t hear about it, well perfect timing. NASA is planing to launch SpaceX on Saturday at 3:22 pm ET after having to postpone due to weather. If weather continues to not look good again (it’s hurricane season in Florida) then it will be pushed to 3 pm Sunday. It has to be a precise launch due to how the international space station orbits more than 17,000 miles or more per hour at 250 miles above Earth.

The 2 man crew will be heading to the international space station on a 19 hour ride to the space station. They need to fix a piece on the station and are bringing a piece of art and something to honor the 2020 graduates.

This launch is a first for the history books because in 2011, NASA shut down is Space Shuttle Program. Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley trained one Russia in order to be ready. NASA partnered with Elon Musk creating this new shuttle and the Crew Dragon Capsule, which is a fully automated capsule where the astronauts have to monitor and keep in contact with base unless something goes wrong. It is the first time a company has created a shuttle partnering with NASA.

You can watch the launch and ride here

But I didn’t just want to talk about the launch its self, which is pretty cool. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about space or jump into a space theme for your lessons. Here are just a few videos to get you started. There are so many from our brave astronauts to watch, including story time.

I’ll have a longer book list but I wanted to mention these in particular since they are not only Matthew’s favorites but are written by an astronauts. And if you can’t tell, yes Astronaut Mark Kelly is his favorite.

Mousetronaut by Mark Kelly

Mousetronaut tells the story of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space. The little mouse works as hard as the bigger mice to show readiness for the mission . . . and is chosen for the flight! While in space, the astronauts are busy with their mission when disaster strikes—and only the smallest member of the crew can save the day. With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C. F. Payne, Mousetronaut is a charming tale of perseverance, courage, and the importance of the small!

Mousetronaut Goes to Mars by Mark Kelly

3-2-1…blast off! The smallest member of the team, a mouse named Meteor, is back on board and ready to come to the rescue on an interplanetary adventure! With lively illustrations by award-winning artist C.F. Payne, this charming new mousetronaut adventure will inspire imaginations of all sizes! Includes detailed scientific back matter.

Astrowins – Project Blast Off by Mark Kelly

It’s a long, hot summer and Scott and Mark are in big trouble for taking apart (aka destroying) their dad’s calculator. As a punishment, they’re sent to their grandfather’s house, where there’s no TV and they have to do chores. And Grandpa is less tolerant of the twins’ constant bickering. “Why don’t you two work together on something constructive. What if you built a go-kart or something?” Grandpa suggests.

But it’s not a go-kart the twins are interested in. They want to build a rocket. With the help of Jenny, nicknamed Egg, and a crew of can-do kids, they set out to build a real rocket that will blast off and orbit the Earth. The question soon becomes: which twin will get to be the astronaut?

Astrowins- Project Rescue by Mark Kelly

Mark and Scott Kelly, who are mostly known for getting in trouble, are finally back from their first space adventure. The twins have wanted to explore space ever since they were little and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. And when they hear that a Russian cosmonaut is trapped inside the Salyut space station now orbiting 220 miles above the surface of the Earth, they wish they could find a way to help.

While staying in the countryside at their grandfather’s house with their friend Jenny (aka Egg), the twins repurpose a NASA Titan 2 rocket ship being stored nearby. Complete with spacesuits and snacks, the twins take off to rescue the Russian spacecraft. Will they ever see their family or their grandfather’s backyard again?

Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin

Becoming an astronaut took more than education, discipline, and physical strength. It took years of determination and believing that any goal was possible—from riding a bike alone across the George Washington Bridge at age ten to making a footprint on the moon. 

We all have our own dreams. This is the story of how Buzz’s came true.

Chasing Space by Leland Melvin

In this inspiring memoir, adapted from the simultaneous version for adults, young readers will get to learn about Leland Melvin’s remarkable life story, from being drafted by the Detroit Lions to bravely orbiting our planet in the International Space Station to writing songs with, working with Serena Williams, and starring in top-rated television shows like The Dog WhispererTop Chef, and Child Genius.

With do-it-yourself experiments in the back of the book and sixteen pages of striking full-color photographs, this is the perfect book to inspire young readers.

When the former Detroit Lion’s football career was cut short by an injury, Leland didn’t waste time mourning his broken dream. Instead, he found a new one—something that was completely out of this world.

He joined NASA, braved an injury that nearly left him permanently deaf, and still managed to muster the courage and resolve to travel to space on the shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station. Leland’s problem-solving methods and can-do attitude turned his impossible-seeming dream into reality.

Leland’s story introduces readers to the fascinating creative and scientific challenges he had to deal with in space and will encourage the next generation of can-do scientists to dare to follow their dreams.

We are lucky to have opportunities to go to observatory at SUNY Oneonta when it’s open as well as visit the Hayden Planeterium that’s part of the Natural History Museum.

But we also have our own telescope to observe space as well at these apps we use on our IPad.

Sky Walk 2


Night Sky

And Sky View

Lastly, I’d you haven’t checked out our Minecraft Education post, well you absolutely should. I used Minecraft to help teach about space, solar system, launches and more. Check out these awesome worlds he got to explore for this lesson. Even Matthew said “I can’t believe I get to go to Space in Minecraft, this is the coolest ever” and he starts counting down. That is when you know, you’re doing something right as an educator and a parent.

Hope you guys enjoy posts like these. We will be posing moe Educational Minecraft videos on our YouTube channel for those interested, so please subscribe to Diamond Pro Gamer

And our Printable is available here.