Ninth Grade, Space Exploration Science Projects (19 results)

Space exploration is an exciting and wide-ranging area. Getting into space (and back down) is hard, involving rockets and launch vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, re-entry systems, landers and rovers, robots, and orbital mechanics, not to mention hypothetical technologies like space elevators and artificial gravity. To survive and thrive in space, we must understand many additional issues such as human performance in space, the space economy, and the science of astronomical bodies.

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Science Fair Project Idea
Space exploration, living, and working in space exposes space travelers and their equipment to radiation not present on Earth. The study of how we can protect ourselves and our equipment is an essential part of space exploration. Although you will not be able to test at levels equivalent to what you might encounter in space, you can test with lower and safer levels of radiation in the lab or at your home. There are many types of radiation. This project concentrates on ionizing radiation, or… Read more
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Watching a spacecraft launch is an amazing experience. It is thrilling to see it lift off and escape Earth's gravity. Did you know that it takes a chemical reaction to get a spacecraft into space? Every time you see a one blast off, you are watching chemistry at work. In this chemistry science fair project, you will also get to blast an object into the air. You will not be using the same fuel that NASA uses for the rockets that launch their spacecrafts; instead, you will use two simple… Read more
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Why do the planets orbit the sun without flying off into space? Do they move in perfect circles or do their orbits take a different shape? And how could you possibly do a science project about any of this—you can't do an experiment with the planets! However, you can build a model of our solar system that demonstrates the concept of gravity, using balls of different sizes to represent the sun and planets. Watch this video for an excellent introduction to the model: … Read more
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Mechanical switches are common in many machines and robots. They can be used to detect when a button is pushed, when a door is open, or a low-speed collision when two objects bump into each other. Switches can act as "bump sensors" on a simple robot to help it detect when it hits an obstacle. The robot can use this information to navigate around obstacles and avoid getting stuck. Can you build and program a robot that can drive around your house while using bump sensors to avoid obstacles? Read more
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The first man-made satellite, the Sputnik 1, was launched in 1957. As of late 2020, more than 2,600 man-made satellites orbit Earth, with a little over 70% of them in low Earth orbit. If you would like to delve into how satellites and their sensors are configured, or into how their orbits are planned—and do not shy away from a little programming—this project is for you! With the help of FreeFlyer®—powerful software that allows you to simulate satellite orbit and… Read more
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Light sensors are part of many devices that we use every day. For example, they help your phone know when to automatically brighten or dim the screen based on ambient light levels. They can also be used to help solar panels track the sun, which helps the panels generate more power. Many spacecraft and planetary rovers (like the Mars rovers Sojourner, Spirit, and Opportunity) are solar-powered. In this project you will build and program your own solar-tracking robot. Optionally, you can add… Read more
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You've heard of gold mining and coal mining, but think outside the box...or the planet...what about asteroid mining? Scientists, engineers, and business people believe asteroid mining is feasible, and they are in the beginning stages of long-term plans to mine asteroids for valuable resources during space missions. You don't want to miss out on all the fun; in this science project, you will come up with your own scientific plan for an asteroid mining company. We will help get you started by… Read more
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If you are interested in space travel and willing to do some coding, this project is for you! It uses FreeFlyer®—powerful software that allows you to simulate space travel—to explore essential mission questions. Space travel is complex. Many factors influence the trajectory of a spacecraft. Simulations like the ones generated by FreeFlyer are powerful, as they allow you to analyze each factor in isolation, and then visualize the effects in various ways. Once you familiarize… Read more
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What does it take to launch a robot to Mars or for a satellite to explore our outer solar system? In this project you will explore the physics of a rocket as you predict its performance, launch it, and measure the actual results. This is rocket science! Read more
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Humans cannot see infrared light, but robots can! At least, they can when they use special infrared light sensors. These sensors can help robots detect nearby objects to avoid collisions and even help them avoid driving off edges. In this project you will build your own Arduino robot that uses infrared sensors to avoid driving off the edge of a table. Read more
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