Introducing SpaceMath@NASA

SPACEMATH: The 'M' in STEM education for science and math educators.

SpaceMath@NASA introduces students to the use of mathematics in today's scientific discoveries. Through press releases and other articles, we explore how many kinds of mathematics skills come together in exploring the universe. [Press Release]

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Math in the News

A behind-the-scenes look at the math in NASA press releases

  • Problem 682: NASA's Kepler Mission Detects 715 New Planets Students work with the statistics of the detected candidate planets to estimate the number of planetary systems in the Milky Way and the number of earth-sized planets. (PDF)
  • Problem 680:A Pulsar Shot Out from a Supernova Explosion! Students study the speed of a pulsar ejected from a supernova explosion, and describe what would happen if the dense star collided with a star like the sun. (PDF)
  • Problem 679: Shipping Cargo to the International Space Station Students work with kilograms and watts to determine the cargo capacity for re-supply missions to the International Space Station. (PDF)

    (More problems from 2013-2014)

    Spanish Translations

    ¿Que hora es? -What time is it? - Students work with a simple Time Zone problem involving Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Local Time in various countries.

    Crateres en la Luna - Craters on the Moon - Students use a photograph of the moon's surface, and a ruler, to measure the sizes of craters on the moon, then determine the actual sizes of the craters in kilometers.

    Notacion Cientifica - Scientific Notation In this exercise, students will convert some very large and very small decimal numbers into Scientific Notation form.

    Conversion de Unidades - Unit Conversions Converting gallons to liters and many more fun conversions!

    Calcular la Masa Molecular -Calculating Molecular Mass The structure formula of a molecule adefovir dipivoxil is presented and students count the number of atoms it contains to determine the mass of the molecule.

    Un Sobrevuelo del Asteroide Lutetia -Spacecraft Views Asteroid Lutetia The surface is seen closeup to reveal hundreds of craters. Students measure the sizes of craters.

    LRO ve el modulo de aterrizaje del Apolo 11 en la Luna- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Sees Apollo-11 Lander on the Moon The spectacular image lets students measure the sizes of craters near the Apollo-11 lander, and determine from the Lander's shadow length the elevation of the sun above the horizon.