Is There Gravity In Space?

Does space have its own gravity? And, if so, why do astronauts just float around in the space station? Science sleuths examine the forces acting upon astronauts in the International Space Station with help from the narrator. He demonstrates that acceleration, not a lack of gravity, is responsible for floating in vessels orbiting Earth.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Pose the gravity question early on in a space unit, then circle back to see how much understanding has increased
  • Have the class construct a diagram of Earth that illustrates the gravitational force at different distances from the surface
Classroom Considerations

  • A basic understanding of gravity and acceleration will help pupils relate to the content
Pros

  • The video addresses a very common misconception that astronauts float because there's no gravity in space
  • Illustrations help learners visualize the space station's position relative to Earth and its acceleration
Cons

  • None
Common Core