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Field Expeditions

The NASA vision for Space Exploration involves humans living and working on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. These natural enviornments pose significant challenges and opportunities for human explorers. The next generation of space explorers (those currently in elementary and middle school) needs to understand how to establish and maintain scientific outposts in harsh environments. They must be trained to live and work in these environments and learn how to explore the surfaces of these worlds.

The Spaceward Bound Field Expeditions involve pre-service and in-service teachers in authentic fieldwork so that they can bring that experience back to their classrooms and assist in the development of curriculum related to human exploration of remote and extreme environments.

Teachers join world-renowned planetary scientists to live and work at remote and isolated Moon/Mars analog research sites. They study exploration and technology topics such as:

  • Logistics and transportation
  • Energy and life support
  • Human factors
  • Exploration and EVA activities
  • Moon/Mars science and analog concepts and theory

By day teachers work in the field alongside scientists.  By night they participate in groups to analyze, design and plan how their daytime experiences can be leveraged in their classrooms under the overarching theme of developing a “pedagogy of exploration.”

Opportunities exist for Spaceward Bound alumni to mentor future expedition cohorts.

Previous Spaceward Bound Field Expeditions included in the Archives:

Upcoming and Current Expeditions:


 FirstGov  NASA

Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: March 2011
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe