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Listed under:  Technologies  >  Engineering  >  Space technology
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Solar power

Have you ever imagined how much energy the Sun outputs every day? Listen as Dr Charles Lineweaver, from the Planetary Science Institute at ANU, describes why a solar farm based in space can capture and use more of the Sun's enormous energy potential.

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How does GPS work?

Finding our way in the world has never been the same since GPS came along. In this clip you will discover exactly how GPS works, who uses it, and where it was developed. You will also learn about a new system that may be even better than GPS. Either way, we may never get lost on those city streets again!

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A sweet illusion

See how passing shoppers are tricked by an illusion involving light and curved mirrors. Find out how curved reflectors focus light energy to a central point.

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Getting satellite design right

Is it a good idea to build a complex and expensive machine without carefully checking the design first? This animated clip describes some of the steps NASA took during the design review process for the development of a new satellite. Can you think of any other steps in design reviews?

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And now to build the satellite!

Once the design plan for a satellite is approved, it's important to identify the appropriate materials, tools and equipment needed to construct the new product. Watch this clip to find out what an engineer might do to select and test the components and techniques needed to build a satellite like NASA's MAVEN spacecraft. ...

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Learning from design 'mistakes'

Finding the solution to a design problem involves generating creative ways to address a need or difficulty. Design is the key and it often involves an engineer. In this clip, explore what an engineer is and what they do, and see an example of how NASA engineers might plan, create and test an idea to fix a space station.

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When neutron stars collide

Using technologically advanced supercomputers, scientists have developed theories about the creation of black holes deep in outer space. Watch the computer simulation in this clip to see how the collision of two neutron stars produces a gamma ray burst and a new black hole. Discover that our continuing understanding of ...

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NASA celebrates Aura's ten-year orbit!

Aura is a NASA satellite that in 2014 celebrated ten years orbiting Earth, collecting data about the planet's atmosphere and climate. Aura is helping scientists better understand global systems, including the composition of gases in the ozone layer, air pollution and climate change. Watch to learn more about this space ...

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Mission to Mars, 2012

Imagine robots armed with rock-zapping lasers, roaming the surface of Mars, looking for signs of life! Watch this clip to discover how scientists actually landed Curiosity, one such roving robot, on Mars in 2012. Scientists hope it will provide important information about what is also known as the Red Planet. All aboard ...

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Building a weather satellite

Designers and engineers improve upon existing products all the time. How important do you think it is to update and enhance something like a weather satellite? Can you think of some other objects that could be improved upon?

Assessment resource

Tectonics investigator: Earth's structure: assessment

Test your understanding of the Earth's internal structure. Use animations and images to help you answer a series of questions dealing with the seismic exploration of the Earth’s internal structure and the structure of tectonic plates. View and print a report on your work. This assessment object is one in a series of two objects.

Assessment resource

Tectonics investigator: plate movement: assessment

Test your understanding of tectonic plate movement. Use animations and images to help you answer a series of questions dealing with evidence of plate movement. Interpret data from magnetic surveys of divergent zones, as well as patterns derived from hotspot traces. View and print a report on your work. This assessment object ...

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Exploring atoms: atom structure

See how scientists such as Ernest Rutherford have investigated the structure of atoms. Explore possible models. Fire charged particles at atoms and find which model best fits the results. This learning object is one in a series of six objects. Three of the objects are also packaged as a combined learning object.

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Tectonics investigator

Investigate the internal structure of the Earth using earthquake measurements. Examine the Earth’s outer layer. Fit the Earth's tectonic plates together like a jigsaw puzzle. Identify how plate movements produce many features of the Earth’s surface. Predict the formation of new volcanic islands. This learning object is ...

Interactive resource

Tectonics investigator: hot spots

Identify how plate movements produce many features of the Earth’s surface. Predict the formation of new volcanic islands. This learning object is part of a series of three objects. The series is also packaged as a combined learning object.

Interactive resource

Genes

See how genes and genetic engineering work. Build models of DNA, and work out how it is copied as cells divide. Discover how the codes carried in the genes are copied and used to build proteins. See how gene splicing can be used to benefit human lives. For example, model the transfer of a human gene into bacteria, so they ...

Interactive resource

Genes: introduction to genes

Zoom in on a living plant to see views down to the atomic level. Discover how each component consists of smaller parts. Identify the parts that carry the instructions for the plant’s characteristics. For example, observe that the chromosomes are made of DNA. This learning object is the first in a series of five objects ...

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Genes: what is DNA?

Build models of the DNA molecules that make up chromosomes. Discover how the components match up to make a double helix. For example, discover that the bases adenine and thymine pair up to form ‘rungs’ of the helix. This learning object is the second in a series of five objects that progressively increase in difficulty. ...

Interactive resource

Genes: DNA replication

Model the copying of DNA molecules when cells divide. Discover the part played by enzymes in the replication process. Select the correct base pairings to complete the DNA double helix. For example, pair adenine with thymine. This learning object is the third in a series of five objects that progressively increase in difficulty. ...

Interactive resource

Genes: protein synthesis

Model the process that living cells use to build protein molecules. First, build an RNA strand to copy the gene code of the DNA. Then follow the RNA out of the nucleus to the ribosomes and use a triplet code to pick the correct sequence of amino acids to build the protein. For example, match the code UCU with the amino ...