Today we began learning about space exploration. We are hoping to be able to visit the Johnson Space Center and NASA soon since they are located in the Texas Coastal Plains. As we considered how a space craft is launched into space, we learned that the gas shooting from an engine will push a rocket in the opposite direction. Here's a video that shows how air escaping from a balloon pushes the balloon in a similar way. Newton's third law of motion tells us that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.
We also learned how the orbit of a planet or moon works to keep an object moving around it. Just like the marble is able to move around the edge of the bowl when it is in the current (or orbit) created by swirling water, a space craft is also able to move around earth or the moon simply by being in it's orbit. Newton's first law of motion tells us that an object in motion will remain in a uniform motion unless acted on by an external force, so no engine is needed to keep the space craft moving once it reaches orbit.
Just for fun, we learned about how astronauts eat in space by making pudding, "astronaut style." We added pre-measured milk from one bag to pre-measured powdered pudding in another, and kneaded the bag until the mixture was combined. Then we cut a corner of the bag and squeezed pudding right into our mouths, just like the Astronauts!