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WebQuests (ICT Integration)

Space Exploration

Is space exploration an immoral waste of money? There are so many needs in society that could be regarded as basic human needs that are not being met. Can governments justify spending vast amounts of money on space exploration?


You and your team are a part of a multinational Task Force on Space Exploration charged with determining the future of International Space Programmes. World leaders are concerned with the risks, budget expenses, and environmental concerns of traveling in space. They want to know if the benefits of current space programmes outweigh these concerns.


For this assignment you will complete the following tasks:

  1. Research important issues surrounding space exploration and determine whether or not to continue space programmes.
  2. Create a memo and a corresponding PowerPoint presentation for the chairperson of the Task Force that will illustrate your findings concerning space exploration. Be sure to consider the impact the space programmes have on science, technology, and culture and explain how the world would be affected if space programmes were continued or eliminated.
  3. Share your findings with other teams and debate and discuss points of similarity and difference.

For this assignment, you will work in teams of four and you will divide your task into roles as follows (click on each role for more information):

Environmental Specialist
You will research environmental issues concerning space programmes and examine issues such as space trash, ozone depletion, noise, air pollution and other issues that address the impact space exploration has on Earth and space.
Finance/Cultural Specialis
You will examine all the costs of space exploration and investigate the cultural contributions of space exploration (outside of science) and how the costs of a space programme include financial costs, as well as the cost to society. Can costs be justified when you consider the needs of the community?
Science Specialist
You will research technologies involved with space programmes and examine the kinds of scientific and technological contributions space programmes have made to society, and are likely to make in the near future.
Safety Specialist
You will examine the risks involved in safety exploring space and the processes involved in safety programmes, as well as safety issues involved in space exploration and the risks to those involved in space programmes and to people on the ground, for example, from falling debris.

Use the templates to capture information and use this information in a discussion with your team as you collaboratively produce your final memo and presentation.

» Use this organiser
» Use this fact sheet


By the time you have completed this task you should have discussed some very important issues regarding the spending of large amounts of money on scientific projects. Given that there are so many other demands on money in society you will hopefully have gained an insight and understanding of the relative needs for research spending.

» Download the Presentation Assessment

Related Scenarios

» Space Race
» To Mars and Beyond

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