Updated: Aug 11, 2020
If your children were fascinated by the SpaceX launch a few weeks ago, make sure to talk to them about NASA's next goal, led by the inspirational and newly appointed Kathy Leuders.
Kathy Lueder now leads NASA's human spaceflight program as the Associate Administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate - quite the job title! Essentially, this makes her the first woman ever to head human spaceflight.
In this role she'll be helping put astronauts, including the first woman, back on to the moon by 2024. This mission is part of a longer-term program to one day put astronauts onto Mars. Today's children will see the first people to land on Mars, possibly as soon as 2030. Within their lifetimes they may well also see people start living on Mars in artificial habitats.
Mars is a planet with a fascinating future for humans. You can start talking about Mars and its potential with your children with some great books. Here are my top picks ordered by age. Hope you enjoy them!
1. Mars for Kids
Authors: Dr. Dhoot
Recommended ages: 1-4
About: From the award-winning Tinker Toddlers series, this book takes little astronomers on an amazing space adventure. Children learn how Earth and Mars are similar, why we want to go to the red planet, and what it will be like when we finally get there.
2. You Are the First Kid on Mars
Author: Patrick O'Brien
Recommended ages: 4-8
About: This book takes readers on an unique trip to Mars. It uses theories of what it will take to establish a base on Mars, to guide children on an incredible journey, over 35 million miles to the red planet. Filled with interesting details, and vividly brought to life, you'll all learn plenty of new information!
3. Go On A Mission To Mars
Author: Colin Stuart
Recommended ages: 7-11
About: This book is written as an explorer's guide to the red planet with everything you'd ever want to know. It's broken down into four