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Sputnik's 50th Anniversary: The Beginning of the Space Race
Classroom suggestions for teachers and students who want to explore the space race.

Reaching space was one of mankind's most remarkable achievements in the 20th century. One person will forever be linked to this once unimaginable feat: Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, until his death known only as the Chief Designer. Students can study the story of this mysterious man using a variety of exciting resources.

Click the "GO" button for the lesson plan, and to learn more visit the full Web site:

On Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry over Texas, killing all seven crew members. The accident revealed a major problem with the insulating foam used on the bipod, a fitting on the upper section of the shuttle's external fuel tank. The experiment in this lesson allows you to take the role of a NASA engineer trying to determine the best material for insulation.

Click the "GO" button for the lesson plan, and to learn more visit the full Web site:

Teacher's Guide:
Race to the Moon

The Race to the Moon teacher's guide provides insights into American history topics including the Cold War, the space race, the Apollo missions, technical challenges of space exploration, possibilities for sustaining human life in space, the turmoil of 1968, and more. You can use part or all of the Race to the Moon film, or delve into the rich resources available on this Web site,

Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968) Soviet cosmonaut, he became the first human in space on April 12, 1961.

Sergei Korolev (1906-1966). Father of the Soviet space program. (image courtesy NASA)

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