Lunar and Planetary Institute

Health in Space

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Explore! Home Page

Explore Further! Space Health

Presentations, Books, and Websites


The presentations on this page are those made by NASA scientists and engineers at the Explore training workshops. They are intended to provide background information for program providers, and not to be used directly in youth programs.  Be sure to explore the notes sections for additional information and image credits.  These external resources are not necessarily 508 compliant.

Human Space Travel: Medical Challenges Present and Future (4 MB PowerPoint)
Dr. Diane Byerly

Space Radiation (13 MB PowerPoint)
Dr. Honglu Wu

NASA’s Plans for Space Exploration (14 MB Powerpoint)
Dr. Stephanie Shipp


Living and Working In Space

Living in Space
Katie Daynes, Education Development Corporation, 2002, ISBN 0794503012
Children ages 4–6 can explore what it would be like to travel to and live in space.

Living on a Space Shuttle
Carmen Bredeson, Children's Press, 2003, ISBN: 0516269550
Children ages 4–8 will enjoy this exploration of how astronauts eat, drink, and sleep.

Space Travelers 
Seymour Simon, SeaStar, 2004, ISBN: 1587172518
Children ages 4–8 explore what it is like to live in space from the early days of space flight to the International Space Station

Astronaut: Living in Space
Kate Hayden, DK Children, 2000, ISBN: 0789454211
A female astronaut describes her training for a space shuttle flight and, once she is space-bound, what it is like to float, eat, exercise, and work in space.  Lots of pictures! For children ages 5–8.

Space Station Science: Life in Free Fall
Marianne Dyson, Dave Klug, and Buzz Aldrin, Scholastic Trade, 1999, ISBN 0590058894
Children ages 8–12 will enjoy learning about what it takes to live and work in space. Dyson investigates crew training, daily tasks, challenges to being in space, and the research onboard a space station.

On the Shuttle: Eight Days in Space
Barbara Bondar and Roberta Bondar, Maple Tree Press, 1993, ISBN 1895688124
Follow the Discovery mission of January 1992 and learn about living and working in space. For children ages 9–12, the book is well illustrated and contains many photographs.

Space Travel  (E-Book)
Ian Graham, DK Publishing, 2004, ISBN: 0756605334
Children between 9 and 12 will learn how a rocket blasts off, see inside a spacesuit, read about a day in the life of an astronaut, and visit the rocky surface of Mars in a NASA exploration rover.

Do Your Ears Pop in Space?: And 500 Other Surprising Questions About Space Travel
Mike Mullane, Wiley and Sons 1997, ISBN 0471154040
Shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane shares with children ages 9–12 what it is really like to travel in space.

Space Travel
Don Nardo, KidHaven Press, 2003, ISBN: 0737714069
Children ages 9–12 explore the history of space travel and future colonization beyond Earth.

Space Exploration (Discovery Channel School Science)
Betsy Rasmussen and Jacqueline A. Ball (editors), Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2003, ISBN: 0836833732
Children ages 9–12 learn about space exploration.

Onboard the Space Shuttle
Ray Spangenburg, Kit Moser, and Diane Moser, Franklin Watts, 2002, ISBN: 0531155684
Children ages 10–14 learn about the history behind the space shuttle, what we learn from space exploration, and what it is like to live and work in space.

Building Space Colonies

Home on the Moon: Living on a Space Frontier
Marianne J. Dyson, National Geographic Children's Books, 2003, ISBN 0792271939
Readers ages 9–11 will learn about the lunar environment, history, and resources as they imagine a future human colony.  What should colonists take? What will they do? Where will they live? Activities engage children further.

Lunar Bases (First Books)
Sharon Cosner, F. Watts, 1990, ISBN 0531108945
Recent proposals for colonizing the Moon, adjustments necessary to support human life, and conditions that settlers might encounter are explored in this book for ages 9–12.

Moon Quest (Choose Your Own Adventure, No. 167)
A. Montgomery, Bantam Books, 1996, ISBN 0553566210
Children ages 9–12 choose the roles they would like to play in colonizing the Moon.

Moon Base: First Colony in Space
Michael D. Cole, Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1999, ISBN 0766011186
Children ages 9–12 explore the reasons for building a Moon base and how the base could be used.

Gravity and Microgravity

Zero Gravity
Gloria Skurzynski, Bradbury Press, 1994, ASIN: 0027829251
Children ages 9–12 can learn about zero gravity and see what happens during experiments involving the loss of gravity.

Up, Down, All Around: A Story of Gravity 
Jacqui Bailey, Picture Window Books, 2006, ISBN: 140481597X
What is gravity? How was it discovered? How does it influence us on Earth and in space? For children ages 10 and older.

10 Experiments Your Teacher Never Told You About: Gravity
Andrew Solway and Darren Lingard, Raintree, 2005, ISBN: 1410919218
Why would you bounce if you walked on the moon? And why would you weigh so little?  Children ages 9–12 explore the answers to these gravity puzzles and more!

Don Nardo, KidHaven Press, 2003, ISBN: 0737714042
A broad examination of the role of gravity in the movement of objects on Earth and beyond. For children ages 9–12.

Space Spinners
Suse MacDonald, Dial Books for Young Readers, 1991, ASIN 0803710089
Based on true events, but from the viewpoint of two spiders, this book for children ages 5–8 traces the story of spiders taken onboard the space shuttle to observe how they constructed webs in microgravity.

Gravity: Simple Experiments for Young Scientists
Larry White and Laurie Hamilton, Millbrook Press, 1995, ISBN 1562944703
Children ages 7–11 undertake simple hands-on activities to investigate gravity.

Cosmic Science: Over 40 Gravity-Defying, Earth-Orbiting, Space-Cruising Activities for Kids
Jim Wiese, John Wiley & Sons, 1997, ISBN 0471158526
Demonstrations and activities for ages 8–10 explore the structure of our universe and space travel, along with some of the underlying physical principles.


Mark Pettigrew, Stargazer Books, 2004, ISBN1932799214
Children ages 4–8 discover that radiation is all around us-in the earth, in the air, and in space. This book looks at the many different types of radiation. Find out where radiation comes from, why it is important, and how it can be extremely dangerous.

Gloria Skurzynski, National Geographic Children's Books, 1996, ISBN: 0792235207
Children ages 9–12 explore the electromagnetic spectrum and how the different wavelengths impact humans – from medicine to health to switching TV channels to exploring the universe.

The Space Book: Activities for Experiencing the Universe and the Night Sky
Marc McCutcheon Wiley 2002, ISBN 047116142X
The Space Book offers activities for children ages 4–12 that will take them throughout the universe. The book discusses the big bang and the beginning of time to quasars, comets and other galaxies. It also describes radiation and its effect while traveling through space. 


Healthy Body - Eating Right
Carol Ballard, Blackbirch Press, 2004, ISBN: 1410301613
What role does nutrition and a balanced diet play in maintaining our energy, growth, and health? Children ages 9–12 can learn about the value of eating well for staying well.

Jen Green, Copper Beech, 2003, ISBN: 0761327320
Green explores how the digestive organs work, how nutrients enter the bloodstream and wastes are eliminated, and what can result from not eating right (card catalog description).

Jen Green, Copper Beech, 2003, ISBN: 0761327339
Children ages 9–12 learn about the complex muscular system that allows humans to move, as well as tips on developing strong muscles and avoiding injury (card catalog description).

Internet Sites

Living and Working in Space

NASA’s EdSpace page is for ages 6 and up. Site includes pages on life and science in space, food in space, hygiene and fashion in space, facts, video clips, links and more.

Living in Space - This NASA site offers children ages 6–10 information on what it is like for astronauts in space. It discusses in an easy-to-read style everyday issues that we deal with on Earth such as exercise, personal hygiene, and chores.

The Thinkquest Astronaut site is comprised of features on life on the shuttle and station, weightlessness, web-based activities, quizzes and more. Good information site for ages 7 and up.

PBS’s Space Station site provides in-depth features on sanitation in orbit, recreation and sleeping, eating in space, life in microgravity and more. Appropriate for ages 8 and up.

Nutritional Biochemistry: Just For Kids
Download some fantastic space nutrition newsletters and experiments designed for children ages 8–13. Newsletters present current research, games, activities, fun facts, and more.  Experiments investigate how what we eat influences our bodies and health – on Earth and in space!

High Living - Great site for ages 10 and older. Features consist of space sickness, bodily effects, osteoporosis, radiation effects, breathing in space and more.

Just For Fun - This NASA site shares information about living and working in space. It covers every aspect of being in space from becoming an astronaut to living and working in space This site is appropriate for ages 8–12.

Living in Space - a great site for children ages 8–13 that presents short, illustrated pages about what it is like to eat, sleep, play, and work in space.

Science @ NASA’s living in space site for ages 8 and up includes recent stories involving life in space, astronauts on the moon and Mars, living in space, links and more.

Science News for Kids provides articles on diet and nutrition in space, as well as other health aspects related to space flight. Appropriate for kids ages 8 and older.

The Space Daily web site provides articles on radiation, diet and nutrition in space, as well as other health aspects related to space flight. Appropriate for all children 12 and older.

Space Medicine - For ages 12 and older, this site has information on space medicine, physiological changes in space, and health care for astronauts. It also includes information on radiation effects and countermeasures.

Life in Space - Discovery presents a site that explores what it is like to live and work on the International Space Station. Images, interviews with the astronauts, and interactive activities make this a good site for explorers of all ages.

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute researches several areas of human physiology and spaceflight. The site, for ages 16 and older, presents an overview of different research programs and examines the benefits of this research to human health on Earth as well as in space.

All the latest International Space Station (ISS) and space shuttle news is presented on this site, along with a history of the ISS and shuttle, and other information about NASA's ISS program.

Building Space Colonies

Introduction - Living in Space is a good introduction site to living in space. Older children will find the information interesting and can explore the idea of space tourism. It emphasizes long and short duration space living, exercise, radiation, and working in space.

Space Day - This site includes challenges to children to design colonies, instruments, and support for other human aspects of space exploration. News, events, discussion boards, materials, and resources are presented to enable children and educators to celebrate Space Day!

Artist Pat Rawlings creates images of colonies on Mars and the Moon, as well as a variety of space exploration and research subjects.  This is a great site for sparking imagination!

Mars Image Gallery  - This site provides images of what a colony on Mars might look like. It includes pictures and animations of transportation vehicles, bases, and research.

3D Space Station Adventure provides interactive activities for children ages 4–12. Visitors are challenged to design space vehicles and stations, as well as equip a space station. Coloring books and games also can be found at this site.

Gravity and Microgravity

How Stuff Works explores what weightlessness is and how it impacts the human body. For children ages 12 and beyond.

What is Microgravity? - Children ages 15 and older learn about microgravity and why it happens.

Gravity - Explore gravity and what happens if it is “turned off!” For children ages 8–13.


The Electromagnetic Spectrum - NASA’s Interactive Multimedia Adventures for Grade School Education Using Remote Sensing (IMAGERS) Program provides Earth science education resources for the introduction of remote sensing and satellite imagery. The site provides a good overview of the electromagnetic spectrum for children ages 12 and older.

Spaceflight Radiation Health Program at JSC is an informative site on spaceflight radiation for ages 12 and up. It incorporates the environmental challenges of radiation exposure, with radiation protection, research development and crew exposure monitoring. It also contains a nice piece on the exploration of the moon and Mars.

The Aerospace Corporation Magazine’s website provides an overview of the space radiation environment. For older children and adults.

What is Space Radiation - This site provides children ages 10 and older with answers and explanations to many questions regarding space radiation, including what it is, what its effects are, and who has to worry about it.


Kidshealth discusses several different topics regarding children's health issues. Kids can learn how to be fit, how to eat nutritiously, and lots of pertinent facts about health. This site is appropriate for ages 8 and up.