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Welcome to the Design a Planet Webcast

What combinations of variables make a planet habitable to humans? Why?

While Earth is currently the only habitable planet we know, computer modeling can be used to combine many possible variables and generate other possibly habitable planets.

Students are encouraged to use the newly released Design a Planet simulation module to try to design a habitable planet for humans. For background information to help with their designs, they may also explore other Astro-Venture resources. Email us your successful combinations that result in habitable planets, and we will post them on this site. Then, tune in for the culminating webcast to learn about a computer modeling program NASA is developing to help search for habitable planets outside our solar system.


October 1 Astro-Venture's Design a Planet is released to the public
October 1 - November 7 Students design habitable planets using Design a Planet
Teacher may be interested in using the new Design a Planet lesson (.pdf format)
November 7

Deadline for Students to post by email to combinations that result in planets habitable to humans or extremophiles.
Do not submit Earth parameters
, but we use Earth here as an example:

Sample Submission
From: Teacher/School/State or Country (if not US)
Star type Yellow
Orbit 1
Planet Mass 1
Volcanoes yes
Plate Movement yes
Liquid Water yes
Producers yes
Result Habitable to humans

November 17
11 a.m.
Pacfic Time

Webcast: Students meet career role models, learn about NASA computer modeling missions and post their questions to the experts. See Design a Planet experts' bios.

Experts will report about student Design a Planet result submissions.
Archive is online.

If you have not participated in a webcast before, please prepare by visiting

 FirstGov  NASA

NASA Official: Mark León
Last Updated: May 2005
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