Living and Working in Space: Habitat


SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.

NASA has a vision and goal of returning humans to the moon for long-duration missions by the year 2020, how will they do it? Humans have not ventured to the moon since the Apollo missions from 1969–1972 and those were brief excursions. 30 years later, new technologies and applications have been developed that will make lunar living a reality. Why not incorporate this new and exciting adventure into your study of life, physical, and Earth science in a motivating way? Pique your students’ natural curiosity by using space science as your “hook.”

As NASA designs and develops habitats and life support systems for their lunar missions, they will be focusing on the task of having an “Earth like” environment on the moon that contains food, shelter, water, and air for all living things. Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center have already begun “to make living on the moon a reality.” Beginning with a lunar landing “mock-up” that has a crew cabin with a small galley, waste collection area, sleep area, storage compartments, and even medical supplies, they are designing “mini” space habitats to support life in space for up to seven days. Living in space requires attention to health and fitness, food production and waste management, sources of power, transportation, and communication, and social adaptations that space ecosystems will depend upon.

Teaching about ecosystems, habitats, and health through space science helps students to see the real-life application of their studies, transfer their knowledge to other situations, and wonder about the future. Isn’t this what we all want to accomplish when we design our curriculum around the teaching standards? The web resources in this SciGuide will help students learn core science content in a fun, meaningful context. Using what they know about life on Earth, they will make predictions and inferences about the success of human life in space. Now that’s engaging!

This web guide offers a variety of resources for you and your students, all of which have been evaluated and rated by master teachers across the country in an effort to make your task of incorporating technology into the classroom easier. Looking for life science lesson plans about ecosystems, populations, interdependence, microorganisms, and more? You will find them in this guide along with interactive simulations, images, hands-on investigations, and content background. NASA strives to provide teachers with standards-based, inquiry lessons and this SciGuide is an example of their efforts.

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Reviews (7)
  • on Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:07 AM

SciGuides are really fantastic .When it's time to teach about living and space travel, I can be confident knowing I'll have the Living and Working in Space: Habitat SciGuide to go to for lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources. I'll be able to create outstanding lessons in a shorter amount of time since many resources are easily accessible in this SciGuide.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:27 PM

I used this resource very successfully during my 2013 NASA Summer of Innovation summer school class! Loved the resource and the interactions!

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:49 AM

I like this resource and will use the dwarf plants in my classroom. I'm still reading through this but really like it so far!

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:39 PM

I really like this resource. I haven't completed reading it and following all the links but it is very rich in materials and activities. I'm looking forward to reading more.

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:03 AM

In the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), students write experiment proposals to be conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS). This guide provides a multitude of resources to get students' scientific minds thinking about space and helps to guide them in developing interesting and worthwhile experiments. This guide is so extensive, it took days to navigate through all the different links and I was able to do different sections with different classes so that student groups didn't come up with similar ideas, so be prepared to devote some time both in and outside of the classroom. For more information on SSEP visit

Tabitha Booth
Tabitha Booth

  • on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:51 PM

NASA's Field Trip to the Moon program is inspiring. Students solve and develop on plan to land and build a sustainable habitat on the moon. Students will find solutions to such problems as the lack of oxygen and water, the need to produce food, and medical needs. Students will be wrapped up in this hypothetical situation and incorporate their book knowledge to create a plan. This program requires real life skills of negotiation, team work, brainstorming, experimenting and presenting. I look forward to building this program into my curriculum map next year.


  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:42 AM

NASA's researches are so updated to apply scientific revisions and experimental realities. Currently, the continuous search for other celestial bodies that can be inhabited is among its greatest endeavors. This sci-guide provides these development in science so that the classroom educator and leaners are kept abreast of what's happening in the space. This is linking biological and environmental precepts to current space science advancements.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

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