Teacher’s Questions for End of an Era


Before reading:

  1. What is a space shuttle? Can you name an American space shuttle?
  2. Have you ever seen a space shuttle liftoff or landing — either on television or in person?
  3. Why are space shuttles important?


During reading:

  1. How long has NASA’s Space Shuttle Program been launching shuttles into space? How many missions occurred in this time period? 
  2. What is the name of the last space shuttle that will take flight as part of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program?
  3. Where do the space shuttles lift off from?
  4. How many miles above Earth is the International Space Station?
  5. Name two space shuttle disasters.
  6. What was the name of the first shuttle to enter Earth’s orbit? In what year was this achievement?
  7. What are two big space projects that space shuttles assisted with?
  8. After the space shuttle program ends, what type of alternative spacecraft are being considered to send astronauts back into space. Where might they go?


After reading:

  1. NASA’s Space Shuttle Program has been sending shuttles into space for 30 years. Does this seem like a long time or a short time to you?
  2. List a few examples of technologies used on Earth that were inspired by technologies used in space exploration.
  3. After the space shuttle program ends, will people be able to visit some of the shuttles? Would you like to see the shuttles in person? Why is it important to make the shuttles available to the public?
  4. Would you like to be an astronaut? What are some pros/cons of the profession?



  1. What are some arguments for keeping the space shuttle program in operation? What are some arguments for closing the space shuttle program?
  2. Do you think it’s beneficial for countries to work together on space exploration?