Where in our solar system should NASA focus future missions?

Claim: In the future, NASA should focus more on exploring in Saturn’s rings, on a moon called Enceladus.

Evidence: In the Newsela article about searching for life beyond Earth, they found out that in Saturn’s rings, they found a moon that may contain life. NASA found hydrogen molecules in the geysers of Enceladus. The chemical reaction and tart life for microbes. “We now know that Enceladus has almost all of the ingredients that you would need to support life as we know it on Earth,” Linda Spiker said. Scientists found a lot of hydrogen which living organisms need so there may be life or contain life there. Hydrogen and carbon dioxide under means that undersea microbes are producing methane gas. This is what microbes do deep below Earth’s oceans.

Reasoning: NASA should focus more on exploring Enceladus because if one day Earth can’t sustain life, we will have another place where we can go, since scientist have found things that contribute to sustaining life. Enceladus has many natural fountains. Water is an important thing we need in order to survive.  This can not only help us in the future, but this discovery can also help us advance our knowledge about outer space and our solar system. This can also show that there is life outside of earth.  “We still have a long way to go in our understanding,” said Seewald, who was not involved in the study. “Future missions to explore oceans beyond Earth will answer many of these questions.”



How big is our solar system?

Our universe contains 10 planets and billions of stars. Our solar system has 10 planets. They are separated in different groups according to their characteristics. When we did the activities in the last two days, we learned about the diameter or the actual planet and the actual distance from the sun. We converted the diameter into centimeters so 1 cm=50,000 km and we converted the actual distance from the sun, so it was actual distance divided by 100 equals the scaled distance. We took those scaled measurements and went around ISB mapping their distances. Even though we know a lot of things in our solar system, there is still many things outside we haven’t explored.

The planets in order, from the closest distance from the sun to the furthest, starting from the Sun is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (if you count that. As a planet). The planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, all have similar characteristics, so they are in a group called terrestrial planets. Gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, are made out of gas. That means their density is less, but they are bigger than terrestrial planets. They are also further away from the sun.

From our experience when we were mapping the planets outside on the field and the track, we used the scaled distance (meters). It took the whole class time to map it and when we got to Mars, it took a long time to walk to Jupiter. We had to walk another 110 meters. Even though it was the scaled distance, it took a long time. We had to run starting at the dome to the baseball field. After that, as we mapped the rest of the planets, we went around the baseball field and walked around the track once and then finished it at the cafeteria door, the one close to the dome. From this, it changed my mind on how big our solar system is. Since we scaled it, it took a long time but if we didn’t scale it and went with the actual number, it would take a long time. Mercury is 11.6 meters away from the sun, and the furthest planet from the sun is Pluto, 1180 meters. The actual distance from one planet to another is a very large number. It would take us a long time get to another planet not close to us. Our solar system is big, but it isn’t the biggest thing.