Have you ever wondered how our modern spacecraft can navigate quickly and accurately to Earth orbit and beyond? Find out in EXPLORE! Humanity has always had a fascination with the stars — from ancient stargazers and astrologers to the breakthrough discoveries of Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler.
EXPLORE begins with a look at how scholars and scientists throughout the ages used the sky as a calendar and clock to measure the passage of time. Their charts and star catalogs became the basis of astrology, and informed the modern science of astronomy.
Kepler’s theories about planetary ellipses opened the universe to exploration in ways he never dreamed of, centuries after his death. Kepler’s Laws are fundamental in physics and astronomy and central to modern spaceflight. Transporting ships, people, and cargo beyond Earth depends on these laws of motion. The show demonstrates how those laws work using simple, easy-to-understand animations and clear explanations.
Then, to show how they work in space exploration, EXPLORE takes us on an imaginary journey. Astronauts leave Earth, execute two Hohmann-transfer maneuvers, and dock with a space station. Then they are off to Mars. In several beautiful scenes, the show demonstrates how spacecraft follow Kepler’s laws in stately maneuvers as they make their way from Earth to orbit and then on to other worlds.
EXPLORE is a compelling story of skygazing, scientific discovery, and the wonders of exploration, past, present, and future.
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New York State Science Learning Standards covered by this show for high school students.