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Extreme Environments

Lost in Space

While humans have been sailing the treacherous seas for millions of years, space exploration is relatively new. Astronauts first set foot on the moon just 52 years ago, in 1969! But thanks to modern advances in technology like the development of the Hubble Space Telescope, we are able to see further than ever into our vast dark universe. And it's there where we're finding some of the most extreme environments of all, like planets made of diamonds, baked by 800-degree temperatures, or scoured by wind-blown glass that could shred us to pieces. Let's visit a few of them!


what you’ll need


          FOR PARENTS

          Ask About Today

          Do you believe there is life on other planets? Why or why not?

          Skip the Ads

          Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


          60-75 minutes


          Tour 10 of the Galaxy's Most Extreme Planets

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          Some are made of diamonds. Others go from super hot to super cold in just a few hours. All of them are places that are way too extreme for humans to visit. Let's take a closer look!

          Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. Click "Skip" as soon as you can.


          Adapting to Other Planets

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          Have you ever thought about what it might be like if you visited other planets in our solar system? On some, your limbs would expand, making you taller, and on others, you’d instantly evaporate! Ready to go? Anyone? Hello?


          Surviving Outer Space

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          The environment of space is so extreme, it takes a lot of special equipment and careful training just for humans to survive in it. Take a look at how space agencies and astronauts prepare in this 20-minute documentary from Dave Malkoff and The Weather Channel.


          Look Out for Solar Flares

          As if space weren't already dangerous enough, solar flares can make it even MORE extreme. Learn more about these enormous explosions of radiation from the sun in this article from NASA.


          A Tiny Creature Tough Enough for Space

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          What living creature could possibly survive a trip into space? Tardigrades, which can survive for decades without water and live in extreme environments all over the Earth, are probably our best bet. Get to know these incredibly tough critters in this video from TED-Ed.


          Imagining Life on Mars

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          Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, recently announced that its first crewed mission to Mars could be 2026. But can Mars prove sustainable enough as an environment to meet our needs? Check out this simulation of what the first 10,000 days on Mars might look like, and then decide.


          30-45 minutes


          Create Your Own Space Helmet

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          Let your imagination soar by creating your very own costume space helmet. There are different ways to complete this craft, but this one is fairly simple and can be done with simple recyclables (because... we don’t want to have to be living on Mars sooner than we need to be). So let’s reuse and get crafty!


          10-15 minutes


          Work Out Like an Astronaut (Kinda)

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          When astronauts are living in space, they spend hours each day exercising to keep their bones and muscles strong. So you can probably handle a few minutes keeping up with our favorite gym teacher, Joe, right?