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Oklahomans and Space


Fact and Fiction?

Facts are something that actually occurred. Fiction is something that we create using our imagination. Sometimes authors use facts from history and then use their imagination to create a story based on those facts.

Choose one of the astronauts from this website. First, research the astronaut using this website, other websites, and books. Use the facts you find mixed with your imagination to create a short story about the astronaut’s time in space. Write your story using two different colors. Use one color when writing down facts that actually occurred. Use the other color for the parts of the story that you create. One sentence may have two different colors. Read the story out loud to a friend and have them try and guess what is fact and what is fiction!

What to Take?

Below are typical items taken on space missions, including dehydrated food and an exercise band. Astronauts will also bring personal items with them to space, like journals, flags, or toys. Because it takes so much fuel to transport people and objects into space and space station living quarters are so tight, every ounce of weight and free space counts, so personal objects often have to be quite small and compact.

What would you need to take with you on your trip to space to survive? What would you want to take with you for when you are bored or lonely? Draw items that you would need or want to take with you to space in the box below or on your own sheet of paper!

Dehydrated food and a water gun to rehydrate it from the Gemini-Titan 4, 1965 (22311.S-65-22240, Jerry Elliott Collection, OHS).

A bungee cord used by astronauts on the Gemini-Titan 4, 1965 (22311.S-65-19590, Jerry Elliott Collection, OHS).

Be a Journalist from the Past

The general public has always followed the space program’s progression and achievements in the media, especially on television. People would crowd around their televisions to watch early spacecraft launches, or to see history being made in footage transmitted from the moon.

Choose an Oklahoman astronaut and one of the missions they went on. Research that mission on this website or through other resources. Then, prepare and perform a television news story presentation or write a newspaper article about the mission.

Consider some of these questions when creating your news story:
Who are the astronauts on the spacecraft?

What is the name of the spacecraft?

Where is the spacecraft headed? What is its goal?

How did the launch happen – was it successful?

Why is the launch important?

In addition, think about the questions you would ask the astronauts on the spacecraft for an interview. What would you be most interested to know about their time on the mission? What types of questions do you think people would enjoy watching or reading about this program? Write at least three potential interview questions below:

Front page of The Sapulpa Daily Herald after the historic moon landing in July, 1969.
The Sapulpa Daily Herald (Sapulpa, Okla.), Vol. 54, No. 276, Ed. 1 Monday, July 21, 1969 (courtesy of the Oklahoma Digital Newspaper Program).

Apollo and Moon Cutout

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Make A Galaxy Pinwheel

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