Question Sheet: Destination Mars


Before reading:

  1. Why has Mars been in the news lately? 
  2. Name four facts about Mars.

During reading:

  1. What are Spirit and Opportunity, and what are they doing? 
  2. Who is Paul Wooster? 
  3. How long would a trip to Mars take? 
  4. What problems do scientists have to overcome in order for astronauts to survive on Mars? 
  5. How long is a Martian year? 
  6. What have Spirit and Opportunity found that could suggest life once existed or still may lurk on Mars?

After reading:

  1. If life exists somewhere in the solar system other than Earth, why is Mars a

    good candidate? 

  2. Do you approve of President Bush’s pledge to fund space exploration, including a base on the moon and a trip to Mars? Why or why not? 
  3. Do you think President Bush’s goal of “getting astronauts back to the moon by 2020 and then going beyond” is realistic? Where do you think “beyond” should be? 
  4. Besides the physical strains of living on Mars, what other strains and difficulties might astronauts on the planet face? 
  5. What would you like the rovers now on Mars to look for or at? Why?


  1. Design a Mars station that could house up to six astronauts. Make a list of what supplies and facilities would be essential for survival. Draw what your station would look like, labeling important parts. 
  2. What do you think it would be like to spend a long time in partial gravity, wearing a spacesuit, in the cold of Mars? Write five journal entries of a person living in your Mars station.


A 100-pound person weighs 38 pounds on Mars. How much would a 185-pound person weigh on Mars?