National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Insight... into the early evolution of terrestrial planets.
Space Math for InSight

Brought to you by Space Math @ NASA

Problem 527: Exploring a Possible InSight Landing Area on Mars
Students work with latitude and longitude and scaled images of mars to locate the InSight proposed landing area, and describe the terrain of the landing area. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: degree measure; latitude and longitude; working with scaled images; metric measure] (PDF)

Problem 526: Comparing the InSight Landing Area to a City Block!
Students use scaled images of a proposed InSight landing area and a scaled image of an urban neighborhood on Earth to compare the sizes of familiar things with the unfamiliar martian landscape. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: scale; proportion; metric measurement] (PDF)

Problem 525: Exploring Marsquake Energy with the Moment Magnitude Scale
Students are introduced to the Moment Magnitude marsquake scale which gives a logarithmic index for marsquakes of differing energies. They calculate two examples of marsquakes and meteor impacts and compare their Moment Magnitude. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: logarithms; scientific notation; algebra ] (PDF)

Problem 524: Exploring Logarithms and the Richter Magnitude Scale
Students work with a logarithmic scale to estimate how much ground movement occurs for earthquakes of different strengths. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: logarithms; base-ten exponents] (PDF)

Problem 523: The Distance to the Martian Horizon
Students devise a basic equation for the distance to the horizon on a spherical body using the Pythagorean Theorem and a bit of algebra. The estimate the number of cell towers needed to cover Mars. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: Pythagorean Theorem, Algebra; scientific notation; areas of spheres and circles ] (PDF)

Problem 522: Exploring the Interior of Mars with Spheres and Shells
Students use the volume properties of spheres and shells along with the relationship mass = density x volume to create a model of the interior of mars. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: formula for volume of spheres and spherical shells; mass = density x volume; scientific notation] (PDF)

Problem 521: Exploring the Mass of Mars
Students calculate the mass of mars by using satellite data and Kepler's Third Law. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: Algebra; scientific notation] (PDF)

Problem 520: Exploring Impacts and Quakes on Mars
Students work with logarithmic scales to explore the relationship between the energy of a marsquake and its logarithmic index, which is similar to the Richter Scale used for earthquakes. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: Logarithmic scales; scientific notation] (PDF)

Problem 519: Comparing the Heat Output of Mars and Earth
Students learn about the heat flow formula and use it to explore the properties of Earth and Mars in terms of their crust composition. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: Algebra; temperature gradients] (PDF)

Problem 518: Exploring Heat Flow and Insulation
Students explore how insulation works to reduce heat flow. They convert a verbal description of a formula expressed in proportions, and use it to calculate why aluminum pots heat faster than steel pots, and how we can determine the properties of martian soil from heat flow and temperature changes. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: algebra; rates of change] (PDF)

Problem 517: Exploring Temperature Change in Earth's Outer Crust
Students explore the rate of temperature change in the crust of Earth and Mars and learn about units expressed as degrees C/km. They calculate how hot the ground will be at various depths, and how gold miners must deal with extreme heat. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: Fahrenheit and Celsius degrees; rates of change] (PDF)

Problem 516: Exploring the InSight Lander Telemetry Data Flow
Students explore how long it takes to transmit digital data using examples from downloading songs from their computer to their ipod. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: working with kilo, mega and rates of data transfer in bytes/sec. ] (PDF)

Problem 515: Seeing the Martian Surface with IDC
Students learn about the IDC camera and calculate resolution and how many images are needed to map the InSight landing area. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: Angular measure, degrees and seconds; image scal; tiling an area with overlap. ] (PDF)

Problem 514: Telling Time on Mars - Earth Days and Mars Sols
Students work with two clocks on Earth and Mars and learn about earth and mars time given that a day on Mars is 40 minutes longer than an Earth day. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: time calculations, hours, minutes, seconds; length of day ] (PDF)

Problem 513: Radio Communications with Earth -- The Earth-Sun Angle
The earth-sun angle is given in tabular form in degrees. Students graph the data and find the dates when transmissions to Earth cannot occur. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: Interpreting tabular data; rates and slopes ] (PDF)

Problem 512: Estimating the Mass of a Martian Dust Devil
Students estimate the mass of a martian dust devil using the approximation that it is a cylinder with a fixed density of dust. [Grade: 8-10 | Topics: Volume of a cylinder; mass = density x volume] (PDF)

Problem 511: The Work Area In Front of the Lander
Students estimate the area in front of the InSight lander where experiments will be conducted and instruments moved with a single robotic arm. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: Area of a circle segment; Area common to two intersecting circles] (PDF)

Problem 510: Scheduling Events in Time for Launch
Students learn about scheduling many events along a timeline (breakfast, packing, driving, etc ) by planning a family trip where the family members have to arrive at the airport for a flight that leaves at a specific date and time. [Grade: 5-7 | Topics: working with time units; creating a timeline] (PDF)

Problem 509: The InSight Seismographic Station Solar Power System
Students explore the properties of decagons to determine the area of the solar panels used on the InSight lander. [Grade: 7-9 | Topics: area of regular polygons; estimating areas of non-square shapes] (PDF)

Problem 508: The InSight Seismographic Station - Wave arrival times
Students work with the circumference of Mars and the speed of shock waves in the martian crust to estimate the arrival times of the waves at the InSight Lander. [Grade: 6-8 | Topics: speed = distance/time; Time calculations; circumference of a circle] (PDF)

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Kirk Munsell
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> JPL Image Use Policy
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 2 Apr 2013