Universe Productions
Astropuppies in Space
Astropuppies   Mars  
Space Vocabulary  

These words are all found in the AstroPuppies in Space DVD. Use the following definitions to help you understand and learn more about space exploration.

– A –

— Air is a mixture of gases that surrounds the Earth. All people and many animals breathe air.

Edwin Aldrin — Edwin Aldrin was the second man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. He and astronaut Neil Armstrong were on the Moon for about two hours, collecting rocks and doing experiments.

Apollo 11 — Apollo 11 was the name of the first spaceship to send astronauts to the Moon.

Neil Armstrong — Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. When he first stepped on the Moon, Armstrong said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

asteroids — Asteroids are large rocky objects or very small planets. Most asteroids orbit the Sun in an area called the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

asteroid belt — The asteroid belt is a doughnut-shaped area of asteroids that orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.

astronaut — An astronaut is a person that travels and works in space.

astronomers — Astronomers are people who study objects in outer space, such as stars, planets, galaxies, comets, and nebulae.

atmosphere — Atmosphere is the gas that surrounds a planet, moon or star. The layer of air that surrounds the Earth is called the atmosphere. There is no exact place where the atmosphere ends; it just gets thinner and thinner the closer it gets to outer space.

– B –

– C –

cloud — A cloud is a large group of tiny water drops or ice crystals that float in the air above the Earth.

Michael Collins — Astronaut Michael Collins traveled with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the first trip to the Moon in 1969. Collins circled the Moon in their spacecraft while Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the Moon.

comet — A comet is a giant ball of rock and ice, something like a big dirty snowball. If a comet travels close to the Sun, it forms a beautiful glowing tail of gas and dust millions of miles long.

crescent moon — A crescent moon looks like the Moon has a thin curved shape.

– D –

day — A day is the length of time that it takes a planet to rotate, or spin around one time. A day on Earth lasts almost 24 hours.

daytime — Daytime is the time between sunrise and sunset when the Sun gives us light.

dock — To dock is to join one spacecraft with another spacecraft in outer space.

dwarf planet — A dwarf planet is a small round planet that orbits the Sun. Pluto is a dwarf planet.

– E –

Earth — The Earth is the third planet from the Sun. Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has air and water that lets people, plants and animals grow. It's where we live!

engine — An engine is a machine that gives a spaceship the power to fly into outer space.

equipment — Equipment is any special thing needed to do something. For example, astronauts need to wear special spacesuits when they go on a spacewalk.

experiment — An experiment is a test to find out something or see if an idea is correct.

explore — To explore is to travel to a place that is not well known to find out more about it.

– F –

full moon — A full moon looks like a full circle in the sky.

– G –

galaxy — A galaxy is a huge group of stars in outer space.

gas — Gas is something that is neither liquid nor solid. Air is made of gases.

gravity — Gravity is a force that pulls two objects together. Gravity is what makes you feel heavy on Earth.

– H –

half moon — A half moon looks like the Moon is half a circle.

Hubble Space Telescope — The Hubble Space Telescope is a powerful telescope that floats above the Earth taking photographs of objects in outer space.

hurricane — A hurricane is a very strong storm with heavy rain and fast winds that blow around and around in a circle.

– I –

International Space Station — The International Space Station is a huge laboratory floating in space high above the Earth. Astronauts from all over the world come here to live and work together.

– J –

Jupiter — Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun, is the largest planet in our solar system. There’s a huge red spot on Jupiter that is twice as big as Earth. This spot is actually a storm that’s been going on for over 300 years!

– K –

– L –

laboratory — A laboratory is a special place to do experiments.

launch — To launch is to shoot a rocket or spacecraft from Earth into outer space.

lift-off — Lift-off is the sudden, upward movement of a spacecraft when it is launched from Earth into outer space.

Little Dipper — The Little Dipper, also called The Little Bear, is a constellation whose stars look like a cup with a long curved handle. The North Star is at the tip of the Little Dipper’s handle.

– M –

mankind — Mankind means all the people in the world.

Mars — Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, is called the Red Planet because its dirt is a rusty red color. There’s never any rain on Mars, so the planet is always dry and very dusty.

Mercury — Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. It’s so close it’s really hot there during the day. But, it’s also terribly cold at night. Mercury has very little air and no water.

meteor — A meteor is a meteoroid that has entered the Earth's atmosphere, usually making a bright streak of light in the sky. It is sometimes called a shooting star. Most meteors burn up before hitting the Earth.

meteorite — A meteorite is a meteor that has fallen to Earth.

meteoroid — A meteoroid is a small piece of rock and dust that travels through space.

Milky Way — The Milky Way is a bright group of stars stretching across the night sky. Our solar system is in the Milky Way galaxy.

month — A month is four weeks or about 30 days long. There are 12 months in a year.

moon — A moon is a small body of rocky material that orbits a planet. The Earth has one moon.

– N –

NASA — NASA is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the people who launch all of America’s space flights.

nebula — A nebula is a giant cloud of dust and gas between stars.

Neptune — Neptune, the eighth planet from the Sun, is a beautiful blue planet with a lot of rings around it. Neptune has wild weather with huge storms and very fast winds.

new moon — The new moon is the phase of the Moon when it can’t be seen at all.

night, nighttime — Night is the time between sunset and sunrise when it’s dark outside.

– O –

observatory — An observatory is a special building where people study the stars, planets, nebula and other objects in the sky, using a large telescope.

orbit — An orbit is the path followed by an object as it travels around another object in space. For example, the Earth orbits the Sun.

outer space — Outer space is any place beyond the air, or atmosphere, around the Earth.

– P –

phases of the moon — The phases of the Moon describe the way the Moon appears to change shape as it circles the Earth. The phases of the Moon include the crescent moon, half moon, full moon and new moon.

planets — A planet is a large, round object that orbits a star and shines as it reflects the star’ light. There are eight planets in our solar system — Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These planets revolve around the Sun and shine as they reflect the Sun’s light.

Pluto — Pluto used to be called a planet. But in 2006, astronomers decided that Pluto is too small to be called a planet. It’s now called a “dwarf” planet, which means it is a very small planet.

poison/poisonous — Poison is something that can kill or seriously injure living things if it is swallowed, touched or breathed.

pressure — Pressure is the force of pushing or of weight.

– Q –

– R –

revolve — Revolve means to circle around something or move in an orbit. For example, the Moon revolves around the Earth.

robot — A robot is a machine that can perform some of the same jobs as a human being.

robot arm — A robot arm is a machine that looks like a long arm. The robot arm can carry astronauts all around the outside of the space station.

rocket — A rocket is a spacecraft that can be shot into outer space.

rocket fuel — Rocket fuel is a material that is burned to give heat and power to launch a rocket, space shuttle, or other spacecraft.

rotate — Rotate means to turn or spin around a center point in the way that a wheel does. The Earth rotates as it orbits the Sun.

rover — A rover is a robot, or machine, with wheels. Rovers have been sent to the planet Mars to explore and perform special jobs.

– S –

Saturn — Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, is circled by thousands of colorful rings made of ice, dust and rocks. Saturn is made up of poisonous gas and has very strong winds.

shadow — A shadow is the dark shape made on a surface by something blocking the light from it.

shooting star — A shooting star is not a star. It’s a meteor flying very fast from outer space into the air around Earth, where it becomes very hot and burns up.

solar system — The solar system is the sun and all the planets, moons, asteroids, comets and other objects that move around the Sun.

space — Space is the area that stretches in all directions outside the Earth’s atmosphere and contains everything in the universe.

space flight — A space flight is a trip through outer space in a spacecraft.

space helmet — A space helmet is a hard covering worn to protect an astronaut’s head from heat and cold, and to give the astronaut air to breathe.

spaceship — A spaceship is a vehicle that travels in outer space, often with astronauts on board.

space shuttle — A space shuttle is a spacecraft for carrying people and supplies between Earth and outer space. When a space shuttle returns to Earth, it lands like an airplane.

space station — A space station is a spacecraft that stays in outer space and circles the earth for a long time. Astronauts live and work on the International Space Station.

spacesuit — A spacesuit is a special suit worn by astronauts to let them breathe and protect them from all the dangers of space.

spacewalk — A spacewalk is any activity astronauts do outside their spacecraft.

star — A star is a huge glowing ball of gas in outer space. Stars in the night sky look like tiny points of light because they are so far away.

sun — The Sun is a very hot, bright star around which the Earth and other planets revolve. All the light and warmth on Earth comes from the Sun.

sunspots — Sunspots are dark patches on the Sun’s surface that are cooler than the rest of the Sun, but they are still really hot.

surface — A surface is the outside or top layer of something.

swirling — Swirling means to spin around and around.

– T –

telescope — A telescope is a special tool you look through that makes things that are far away seem closer and larger. Telescopes are used to look at stars, planets and other objects in outer space.

temperature — Temperature means the amount of heat or cold in something, usually measured with a thermometer.

tether — A tether is a long wire attached from the outside of the space station to an astronaut on a spacewalk. The tether keeps the astronaut from floating off into space.

– U –

Uranus — Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, is a very cold, windy planet covered with green clouds of poison gas. Uranus also has rings around it made of ice and rocks.

– V –

Venus — Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the hottest planet in our Solar System. There is no water on Venus and the air is poison.

volcano — A volcano is a mountain that can erupt or throw out hot lava, ashes, and gases from deep inside a planet.

– W –

weather — Weather is what it’s like outside, such as how hot or cold it is, or if there is rain, sunshine, wind or clouds.

weight — Weight is how heavy something is. Weight is caused by gravity pulling down on an object.

– X –

– Y –

year — A year is the length of time it takes a planet to revolve around the Sun. A year on Earth is 365 days long.

– Z –

Sources: AstroPuppies in Space DVD, NASA, Webster’s New World Student’s Dictionary


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