Education Technology

NASA - Lunar Surface Instrumentation

Published on 12/04/2010

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will look at an astronaut's movement on the lunar surface using vector addition. There are 2 parts to this activity. Both sets of materials are attached.


Students will

  • add, subtract, and resolve displacement and velocity vectors to determine components of a vector along two specified, mutually perpendicular axes; and
  • determine the net displacement of a particle or the location of a particle relative to another. 

About the Lesson

Exploration provides the foundation of our knowledge, technology, resources, and inspiration. It seeks answers to fundamental questions about our existence, responds to recent discoveries and puts in place revolutionary techniques and capabilities to inspire our nation, the world, and the next generation. Through NASA, we touch the unknown, we learn and we understand. As we take our first steps toward sustaining a human presence in the solar system, we can look forward to far-off visions of the past becoming realities of the future.

Outpost concepts are now being designed and studied by engineers, scientists, and sociologists to facilitate long-duration human missions to the surface of the Moon or other planetary bodies (Figure 1). Such outposts will include habitat modules, laboratory modules, power systems, transportation, life support systems, protection from the environment, communications for planetary surface operations, and communications back to Earth.

During past and current space missions, astronaut activity outside of the vehicle (e.g. space shuttle) is referred to as an extravehicular activity, or EVA. In a similar way, extrahabitat activities, or EHA, will be performed during a mission to accomplish exploration work. One EHA may be to place environmental sensors and instruments within the proximity of an outpost (Figure 2).