It May Be Our Only Escape


To select the 10 planets, moons, or other solar-system objects that are most suitable for human habitation.


Looking for water, try

  • construction paper

Shuttle Launch

Discover y STS-82 Night Launch Courtesy NASA

The UN's Asteroid Awareness Education Committee (AAEC) is busy informing the people of the world about the impending asteroid impact. One of their goals is to reassure us that everything is going to be okay... We can deal with the asteroid...We will survive.

But just in case, the AAEC is secretly developing a list of places in our solar system where a team of humans could be sent to start a colony. Survival of the human race is the primary goal of this project!

After years of NASA missions of exploration, we now have critical information about the planets and their moons. You are one of several planetary scientists who has been selected to create a chart of solar system objects (planets, moons, other) ranked according to their suitability for human survival.


You and one partner may work together on this activity. Start by deciding what factors you will include in your evaluation. Also decide the kinds of objects that may be suitable.

Design a system for collecting and organizing the information. Three-by-five cards, Post-It Notes, computer database, or any other system may be used. However, the system you select must allow you to record data and also move it around.

After you have gathered all data, arrange the solar system objects in order from most, to least, human friendly.


You have been asked to present your findings at the poster session of the World Crisis Conference in Zurich, Switzerland.

Your poster must be a chart that shows the ten solar-system objects (planets, moons, other) most suitable for human life. Include columns for the data you used to support your selection.

Also add a column to your chart that lists what's lacking. In other words, for even the most suitable planet or moon, there may be a problem or two remaining. List them.

Finally, the ten objects you have selected must be ranked from most to least suitable.

2002-2011 Event-Based Science Project