Blasting into Space

The space shuttle Discovery lifts off with a roar, taking astronauts and cargo into space.

Photography Credit: Kennedy Space Center

Up where it can get a clearer view of objects deep in space, the Hubble Space Telescope sends scientists amazing and mysterious pictures.

Photography Credit: NASA Headquarters — GReatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN)

The Hubble took this picture of the Butterfly Nebula. Nebulas are eerie clouds of gas and dust where stars are born and die. This nebula contains two stars orbiting each other.

Photography Credit: NASA Headquarters — GReatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN)

The International Space Station is being built high above Earth. Astronauts from many countries will live and work there.

Photography Credit: NASA

These are the giant twisters in the Lagoon Nebula. They are swirling clouds of dust and gas photographed by the Hubble.

Photography Credit: NASA Headquarters — GReatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN)

Future Explorations

This robot rover, called FIDO, will soon head to Mars, where it will search for clues to tell where there may once have been water on this dry planet.

Photography Credit: NASA Headquarters — GReatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN)

Soon the James Webb Space Telescope will go farther into space than even the Hubble to give us the clearest pictures yet of distant objects.

Photography Credit: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA-MSFC)

Activity

  1. In what ways does the James Webb Space Telescope appear different from the Hubble Space Telescope? What is the James Webb Space Telescope designed to do? How might this be related to its design? Write a short paragraph about the differences between the James Webb and Hubble Space Telescopes. Include your ideas about why the James Webb Space Telescope is designed the way it is.
    [anno: Answers may vary but could include that while the Hubble Space Telescope orbits Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope is designed to travel farther into space. The large, honeycombed wings might help the telescope to travel farther through space.]
  2. If you could see a clear photograph of anything in space, what would it be and why?
    [anno: Answers will vary.]