Mission: Mars

Mission: Mars


In this lesson you get to co-create a mock Wikipedia entry, based on reading the award-winning book Mission: Mars, by Pascal Lee, and Web research this esheet helps guide.


Before you begin the research for your Wiki, you should learn more about the current Curiosity mission to Mars by watching Curiosity Rover Report: Rover Walkabout. Answer these questions on your Mission: Mars student sheet as you watch the video:

  • Name three of Curiosity's instruments and describe how technology helps produce information about the Martian landscape.
  • Why is the Martian geologic feature called Pink Cliffs interesting for scientists to investigate?

Then go to The Scholastic Mission: Mars website where you can watch a video of Pascal Lee, the book's author, in which he discusses his work and the book. Answer these questions on your student sheet:

  • Why is Mars interesting to study?
  • Why does an astronaut talk about ping pong? Do they play it in space?

If you want to learn even more about Pascal Lee, you can visit his site The Making of Mission: Mars and answer these questions:

  • From the left menu bar, select the Drawing and Paintings page and go there. What kind of things does Pascal Lee draw, and why?
  • Now click on Paintings in the left menu bar: Compare the Mars Dust Storm painting with the Human Exploration of the Martian Moon Deimos. What do they have in common in terms of what he chose to paint?

Once you have finished reading Mission: Mars, use these resources to help you write your Wiki group's entry.


  1. Find the Wiki Group #  in the table below that corresponds to the Wiki Writers’ Group # your teacher assigned you.
  2. Click the Web links entered in the row of your Group # to visit websites that help you research your group’s topic.
  3. Write two facts on your student sheet, guided by the prompts in the far left column. Use the prompts to help you explain your contribution to your Group’s Topic.
  4. Collaborate to combine each Group’s answers from their student sheets into a Wiki entry, led by your teacher as a class exercise. Collaboration is a methodical way of working together—both scientists and Wiki writers collaborate. 
Group #, Topic, and Prompts Web Resources for Research
1. Getting to and Landing on Mars. Describe challenges to landing on Mars. Explain the benefits of Delta II propulsion technology. Illustrate the "Seven Minutes of Terror" and main steps of descending to the Martian Surface.

Challenges of Getting to Mars

Technologies That Enable Mars Exploration

The Mars Experiment

2. Living and Working on Mars: What life support is needed on Mars, and how do spacesuits help? What is an extremophile? What do they tell us? How and where do scientists collect samples and make observations on Mars? 

View the Mars Science Laboratory Rover video and describe 3-4 technologies the robot uses on its head, neck, and body to gather data that provide evidence for conditions on Mars.

 #SuitUp with Nasa for the Journey to Mars

Could Life Survive on Mars?

Mars Science Laboratory: Curiosity Rover

3. Communicating about Mars: What kind of technology is needed to connect to Earth from Mars?

What kind of messages could be sent—will be sent? A poem or haiku?

Communications with Earth

Send Your Haiku to Mars! NASA Seeks Poets

Go To Mars with MAVEN

This esheet is a part of the Mission: Mars lesson.

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