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Earth Systems Science Core
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How do the conditions for life on Earth compare with what is found on other planets? In this activity you are to locate and interpret evidence comparing Earth's characteristics with those of other planets and moons in the solar system.

Through this activity you will evaluate the components of Earth's environment and determine what makes life possible. Think about the other planets and moons in our solar system:

  • How does each planet or moon compare to Earth?
  • What components of the environment are present which are needed for life?
  • What technology would need to be invented to allow humans to develop a settlement on another planet or moon?

Background: Imagine that you live far into the future. Tourist travel to other planets and their moons is just becoming possible, and you are working for the first interplanetary travel agency, "Solar Tours, Inc."  Research one planet or moon and create a travel brochure designed to attract the first space tourists.



  • Reference materials (library, textbook, Internet)
  • Plain white paper
  • Colored pens, pencils, or crayons
  • Magazines (optional)
  • Computer (optional)
  • Scissors (optional)

Procedure: Follow these steps carefully. Each will help you prepare for the next.

  1. To prepare a travel brochure, think of your favorite trip and describe it to your friends or family, or write the description down.
  2. Make sure to include as many details as you can about what made your trip special.
  3. Remember to describe the features or activities of the location you most remember.
  4. Now determine the physical features of your chosen planet or moon that make it special.
  5. Like your family trip, create a list of things about your planet, or moon, that might interest you as a tourist.
  6. Use your imagination and start creating the inviting details that will be in your brochure.
  7. What adventures would there be for the well-equipped adventurer on your planet? Ballooning on Jupiter? Sulfur-surfing on Io? What creature comforts would be required to tame the chill of Pluto or the Heat of Venus? What incredible sights would there be on your planet?

Creating your brochure: You may find it helpful to look at a sample travel or sales brochure from a local store or travel agency, or locate one on the Internet.

To create the best brochure, first make a rough draft.

  1. Determine a catchy title to use.
  2. Identify which of the following you might find on your planet or moon: high mountains, big rivers, snow, deserts, oceans , beaches, potential amusement parks, safaris, train or cable rides, big lakes, warm weather, cold weather, special tours, special sports, or other interesting activities.
  3. Describe the seasonal climates.
  4. What additional materials would be necessary for humans to survive on the planet or moon and how will your travel company provide those necessities?
  5. What tourist attractions do you envision people building on your planet?
  6. What holidays are celebrated on the planet or moon?
  7. Identify the cities being built on the planet or moon. Describe interesting buildings a tourist would want to visit.
  8. What other information can you provide that would tempt tourists to spend their money on this trip?

Brochure layout: Create a tri-fold brochure, as shown at the right, based on the information you collected. You may use a software publishing program on the computer or design it by hand. Make sure it demonstrates your best effort.


Panel Ais the first page seen by your prospective customer. It should have a large attention-grabbing title and a picture, but does not need much other information.

Panel B is the second page. The folding places this page directly under Panel A. This page should include an introduction to the planet or moon and list its interesting features and attractions.

Panel F is the last page of the brochure. This page contains contact information such as the address and phone number of your travel agency. It may also include your logo and/or motto.

Panels C, D, and Eare designed the way you wish. These panels may contain any combination of text and graphics, and may include details such as lodging accommodations, space ship and hotel diagrams, safety features, planet or moon history, physical characteristics, features to see, and guided tours. Be creative and imagine what someone might be able to do in the distant future. Be careful not to change any scientific facts about the planet.

Share your brochure with your friends, family or classmates. Try to convince them to book your tour. Perhaps you have discovered a future career as a tour promoter!

Possible brochure rubric
Review science lab safety rules here.

Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE Earth Systems Science core.


Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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