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On February 18th, 2021 NASA’s Perseverence reached the red planet Mars and delivered the rover to the Jezero Crater landing site. Its mission:

  1. Search for evidence of past microbial life on Mars

  2. Gather samples

  3. Test new technology that can pave the way for people to go to Mars.


Kids and adults can share in the wonder of this scientific achievement at these fact- and project-filled links. Space out!

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“Mars tugs at the human imagination like no other planet. With a force mightier than gravity, it attracts the eye to the shimmering red presence in the clear night sky.” 

– John Noble Wilford, Mars Beckons

Facts About Mars

  • Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is the second smallest planet in the solar system.

  • Mars is call the “Red Planet” because of its reddish appearance.

  • It's a terrestrial planet and has a thin atmosphere made primarily of carbon dioxide.

  • Mars and Earth have about the same land mass.

  • Mars has 15% of the Earth’s volume and just over 10% of the Earth’s mass.

  • Mar's surface gravity is only 37% of the Earth’s: you could really leap high there!

  • Mars has the the tallest mountain in the solar system

  • Scientists believe the planet has active volanos.

  • Mars has water in the form of ice. Due to its atmosphere it's likely to be salty, preventing it from freezing or becoming vapor

  • Mars has the largest dust storms in the solar system that can cover the entire planet and last for months.

  • Mars takes its name from the Roman god of war.The ancient Greeks called the planet Ares, after their god of war.  China’s astronomers called Mars ‘the fire star’, and Egyptian priests called on ‘the red one.’

  • Sunsets on Mars are blue. During the martian day the sky is pinkish-red.

  • On Mars the Sun looks to be about half the size it does on Earth.

  • Scientists have learned about Mars from pieces of it that have fallen to Earth.

  • Mars has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, named for the Latin terms “fear” and “panic”. Scientists beieve these small natural satellites capture asteroids.

  • Scientists believe that in the next 20-40 millions years, gravitational will tear Mar's moon Phobos apart and create a ring.

Books Read Aloud

Read by Astronauts in Space!

Curiosity The Story of a Mars Rover.jpg
Hey-ho, to Mars We'll Go by Susan Lendro
If I Were an Astronaut by Eric Mark Brau
Max Goes to Mars by Jeffrey Bennett.jpg

Check out more stories read by astronauts in space at Story Time From Space

There's No Place Like Space! by Tish Rab
Pete the Cat Out of This World by James

NASA Earth from Space: International Space Station


Experience the thrill of 24/7 live views from the International Space Station (ISS), a modular and habitable modular space station that's in a low orbit of Earth. The spacecraft systems and equipment are testing equipment for possible future long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. The ISS consists of pressurized habitation modules, structural trusses, photovoltaic solar arrays, thermal radiators, docking ports, experiment bays and robotic arms.It's divided into two sections: one operated by Russia, and the other run by the United States and other nations. Maybe some day you'll take a trip into space!

The Martian


When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission. Rating: PG-13

Available on: Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes

Hidden Figures

Join us for story time as illustrator Laura Freeman reads the picture book version of Hidden Figures, the incredibly inspiring true story of four Black women who helped NASA launch astronauts into space.

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