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Let's Talk Lunar Resources

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How does lunar exploration help us tackle challenges in such areas as energy, healthcare and the environment?

In one sense, lunar exploration fires the human imagination for the same reason that people climb mountains: because it's there. The moon, shining above us at night and shifting in its phases, has often been a source of wonder and mystery for people throughout our history. In a more practical sense, however, we look toward lunar exploration to help us work through and solve the knotty problems we face on Earth. The Apollo Program, which landed astronauts on the moon for the first time on July 31st, 1969, was a major leap forward for human space exploration. It also provided a number of technological breakthroughs which would have an impact on all sorts of areas. The moon boot that the astronauts wore became, in time, the cushioning soles of the athletic footwear in use today. Spacesuit fabric design was eventually used to design retractable dome roofing in many sports stadiums. Items like cordless power tools, wearable heart monitors, and solar panels were also spun off of technology that NASA developed for the moon landing.

Moving forward to today, we have made incredible strides towards further exploring our solar system. We have flown by many of the planets in the system, landed spacecraft on comets and asteroids, and are busy planning out the details on sending astronauts to land on Mars. The International Space Station, first launched in 1998 and now comprised of fifteen pressurised modules, is a peak in human ingenuity and engineering. Space exploration, especially lunar exploration, has spurred us to ever-greater scientific heights.

Let's Talk Science's symposiums, Let's Talk Lunar: Why The Moon? and Let’s Talk Lunar: Exploring the Moon People, Technology and Ethics for a New Frontier focus on how space science, driven by lunar exploration among other things, gives rise to exploration of challenges here on Earth as well. Below are a set of thematically grouped resources to give you some background information on the breakthroughs and issues that arise from our exploration of space, as well as an exploration of some of the careers that center on space science and exploration.

Living In Space

What's it like to live in space? Check out these resources to find out! 

Condensation on the window of the Apollo 12 Lunar Module, November 1969

Humidity on Earth and on the ISS

Humidity is an important part of life on Earth and life in space. This backgrounder explains what humidity is, how it is measured and how it affects us both mentally and physically.
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Humidity on Earth and on the ISS

International Space Station in the rays of the Sun

Temperature on Earth and on the ISS

Temperature is an important part of life on Earth and life in space. This backgrounder explains what temperature is, how it affects people and how it is controlled on the International Space Station.
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Temperature on Earth and on the ISS

Scott Kelly et Terry Virts inspectent le système d’élimination du dioxyde de carbone de la SSI (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Carbon Dioxide on Earth and on the ISS

Carbon dioxide is an important part of the air on Earth and in space. What is carbon dioxide? How is it measured? How can it affect us mentally and physically?
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Carbon Dioxide on Earth and on the ISS

Radiation shielding garment on the International Space Station

Radiation and Human Space Exploration

One of the greatest hazards that humans in space face is cosmic radiation. Learn what cosmic radiation is, why it's dangerous, and ways that we are looking at protecting humans in deep space.
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Radiation and Human Space Exploration

Doctor pointing to a knee x-ray

Why a Trip to Outer Space Could Be Bad for Your Bones

Astronauts can experience bone loss in space. To understand why, you need to know a bit about how bones are formed and maintained in your body.
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Why a Trip to Outer Space Could Be Bad for Your Bones

Former Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk enjoys cycling on board the ISS

Spaceflight and Bone Loss

Astronauts can experience bone loss in space. To understand why, you need to know a bit about how bones are formed and maintained in your body.
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Spaceflight and Bone Loss

Three ongoing projects from Let's Talk Science also touch on life in space! Whether it's growing food, maintaining a clean indoor atmosphere, or getting students involved in visualizing their future in space, there's a lot to get into.

Tomatosphere

Tomatosphere™

Through Tomatosphere™, your students will investigate the effects of outer space on the germination of tomato seeds. This is a hands-on program that builds scientific inquiry and experimentation skills.
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Tomatosphere™

starliner spacesuit testing

Living Space

Students will measure environmental conditions such as temperature, CO2, and relative humidity in their classroom and submit the data to a national database.
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Living Space

Student drawn postcard representing habitation spheres on an extra-terrestrial planet.

Send a Postcard to Space

Send a postcard to space and back thanks to a partnership with Club for the Future. The Club’s mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM and help visualize the future of life in space. This page describes the project and how to get your postcards to space.
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Send a Postcard to Space

Exploration of the Solar System

Since we first launched objects into orbit in the 1950s we have made great strides in exploring the solar system that we call home. Below are some resources on what we've discovered through that exploration.

Meteor seen through an opening in the trees

Meteoroids, Meteors and Meteorites

Learn about where and when to find meteoroids, meteors and meteorites.
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Meteoroids, Meteors and Meteorites

Mars Perseverance rover

Exploration of the Planets in the Solar System

Learn about how spacecraft have helped us learn about our Solar System.
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Exploration of the Planets in the Solar System

Pluto lit by a distant Sun

Meet Our Dwarf Planets

Learn about the dwarf planets in our Solar System.
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Meet Our Dwarf Planets

The rocky planets

The Inner Solar System

Earth is covered in rocks. So are Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Moon. Does that mean the rocky planets are all the same?
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The Inner Solar System

Jupiter’s atmosphere taken from NASA's Juno spacecraft

The Outer Solar System

Learn about the amazing planets and moons of the outer Solar System.
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The Outer Solar System

Check out these resources provided from the Canadian Space Agency as well!

Full shot of the moon
The Moon (Gregory H. Revera, Wikipedia)
Objective: Moon

Curriculum-based activities, information on the Moon for educators and youth, the Moon from an Indigenous perspective, funding opportunities.

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A meteor and galactic center of Milky Way galaxy seen from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The Milky Way Galaxy with meteor (Brocken Inaglory, Wikimedia Commons)
Astronomy

Learn the basics, get some tips and tricks, discover space telescopes, and journey around the solar system!

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The Earth, seen from the Moon
The Earth, seen from the Moon (Tumisu, Pixabay)
Moon Exploration

Nearly 400,000 km away from our planet, the Moon represents a crucial stepping stone in humanity's quest to travel onwards to Mars.

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The Moon with terminator line
The moon with terminator line (Marty McGuire, Unsplash)
Canada's Involvement In Moon Exploration

Canada has officially announced its participation in the exciting next chapter of Moon exploration

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Getting There: The Science of Spaceflight

The ways and means by which human beings lift themselves out of the confines of gravity and into the swelling expanse of outer space are fascinating! Below are some resources on the science that we use to get ourselves into orbit and beyond.

Image showing the physics of flight on a drone.

Resources on Physics and Aerospace

Resource page including articles and career profiles related to physics and aerospace.
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Resources on Physics and Aerospace

Cartoon aircraft in flight

Cosmic Radiation and Aviation

Learn how people came to understand the source of cosmic radiation, as well as how this radiation impacts those who work in and travel on airplanes.
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Cosmic Radiation and Aviation

Canadian pilot

From Sky to Space

Canadian astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques explain how learning to fly an aircraft prepared them for the challenges of living in space.
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From Sky to Space

Engineering Above: The Technology of Space

As mentioned in the introduction, space exploration has led to great advances in the technology we use not only for space exploration but also for life on Earth. Below are some resources on the kinds of engineering problems and solutions developed for making our way through the cosmos.

Testing of the Boeing Starliner spacesuit

Testing Spacesuit Material

Learn about a new material for spacesuits and the engineer who designed it.
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Testing Spacesuit Material

Space junk

Space Junk

Litter isn't just a problem on Earth. When litter ends up in space, it can cause collisions and other consequences for satellites, the International Space Station and even for people on Earth!
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Space Junk

Mars Science Laboratory Parachute Qualification Testing

Testing Parachutes for Mars

NASA engineers apply kinematics and dynamics to test parachutes designed specifically to help space probes land safely using aerodynamics.
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Testing Parachutes for Mars

Cosmic Science: To the Moon and Beyond!

From the Moon, to the inner and outer solar system, and beyond into deep space: humans have been probing the depths of the unknown for decades. Below are some resources on space science beyond the boundaries of human existence.

Eruption on the surface of the Sun

What are Cosmic Rays?

This backgrounder has information about both cosmic & neutron radiation.
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What are Cosmic Rays?

Keplers Supernova. Image © NASA

The Life and Death of Stars

The life and death of stars form the chemical elements that make up Earth, making stars critical to life as we know it.
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The Life and Death of Stars

The Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - and How You Can Help!

When astronomers search for extraterrestrial life, they often have to listen for radio waves coming from deep space. If you’re interested, you can help!
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The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - and How You Can Help!

Careers In Space

What about the people who make a living driving forward the limits of human exploration? Below are some resources from the Canadian Space Agency on careers in space, as well as some profiles from Let's Talk Science of the people whose careers take them to the edge of the human imagination.

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques assists spacewalkers Nick Hague and Anne McClain
Astronaut David Saint-Jacques assists spacewalkers Nick Hague and Anne McClain (NASA, Flickr)
Types of Careers in the Space Industry

Careers, jobs and internships at the Canadian Space Agency and grants for universities and industry.

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Laurie Rousseau-Nepton
Laurie Rousseau-Nepton in front of the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. (Laurie Rousseau-Nepton)
Career profiles of Indigenous people working in a space-related field

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) recognizes that there are different ways of knowing. It acknowledges the many contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to the field of space and to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

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