Category: Technology. Last updated June 20, 2023.

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Can chemistry really be out of this world? Explore what it would take to survive on Mars, design rockets and rocket fuel, make your own spectrometer, and more.


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  • Chemistry is out of this World from AACT
    Use data from the NASA Science Solar System Exploration website to practice dimensional analysis calculations.
  • Elements are Out of this World from AACT
    Learn about the elements that make up Earth’s atmosphere and lithosphere and then compare and contrast the information with the elements that compose various other astronomical objects.
  • Working for NASA from AACT
    Take on the role of a NASA employee on a mission to discover what resources humans need in order to survive on another planet inside of our solar system as well as an exoplanet outside of our solar system.
  • A Dusty Dilemma from NASA
    Examine data and error analysis through studying the dust that hits a NASA spacecraft.
  • Astronaut on a Mission from AACT
    Take on the role of a NASA employee on a mission to discover what resources humans need in order to survive on a planet outside of our solar system.



  • Launching Rockets from AACT
    Use your skills to create a stoichiometric mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases to launch a soda bottle rocket.
  • Spectral Detective from AACT
    Use a spectroscope to view the atomic spectra of various unknown elements.
  • Rocket Challenge from AACT
    Challenge students with both designing a rocket and preparing a chemical reaction for its “fuel” in order to propel it as high as possible.


  • Surviving on Mars from ChemMatters Magazine
    Astronauts who land on Mars in the future will face many challenges, including cold temperatures, high levels of radiation, and the absence of food and water on Mars. How will they survive there?
  • Growing Green on the Red Planet from ChemMatters Magazine
    In the movie The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars but is able to survive by growing food in a habitation module. Would real astronauts be able to grow food and survive on Mars, too?
  • To Mars and Back Again from ChemMatters Magazine
    Sending astronauts to Mars has long felt like an outlandish dream—in part because we didn’t know how they would get back home. A new experiment on the Red Planet could change that.
  • Model Rockets—Chemistry for Liftoff from ChemMatters Magazine
    Find out how a rocket motor the size of a roll of pennies can lift a model rocket thousands of feet and eject a parachute for the easy ride back.
  • The Case for Extraterrestrial Teenagers from ChemMatters Magazine
    If movies and television shows are to be believed, you would think extraterrestrial aliens and encounters with them would be common. The idea that they exist is intriguing, and indeed, many of us believe alien creatures are real.
  • Infographic: What Is the Moon Made of? from ACS Reactions
    They give you a hint: not cheese. Get to the core of this question with an infographic created to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the moon landing.
  • The Chemistry of Outer Space from ChemEdX
    Learn about a week-long science camp that included experiments to illustrate how chemistry is intimately tied to the science of the solar system, space travel, and outer space.


  • We are made of “Star Stuff” from ACS Reactions
    As Carl Sagan famously said, “We are made of star stuff.” Whoa. It’s a mind-boggling thought, but what exactly did he mean? Check out the video to find out.

  • Do Astronauts Need Sunscreen? from ACS Reactions
    How do astronauts survive the deadly radiation of deep space? NASA is still figuring out how to protect astronauts from cosmic radiation -- like plastic shielding and magnetic deflectors.

  • What do Astronauts do with Pee in Space? from ACS Reactions
    Taking science and chemistry to Mars! This video looks at a brilliant new potential use for pee in space, and URINE for a surprise, it flows a bit farther than drinking water!

  • Liquid Ping Pong in Space from NASA Johnson Space Center
    NASA astronaut Scott Kelly uses two paddles with hydrophobic, or water repellant, features to pass a sphere of water back and forth. Scientists use the microgravity environment of the space station to advance scientific knowledge in Earth, space, physical, and biological sciences that otherwise wouldn't be possible down here on the planet.

  • What Does the Moon Smell like? from ACS Reactions
    After walking on the Moon astronauts hopped back into their lunar lander, bringing Moon dust with them. They were surprised, and perplexed, to find that it smelled like spent gunpowder. Learn why Moon dust might smell like the aftermath of a Civil War reenactment.

  • The Chemistry of Space from How Stuff Works
    How do we know the chemical composition of far-distant space material we’ve never sampled or even touched? Watch this video to help understand how stars, comets and other heavenly bodies can be analyzed by the unique chemical fingerprints scientists discern strictly through observation.