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Space Exploration/How to enhance your child's interest in space?


Dear Sir,

I have a five-year-old boy. He has just learned a little about the solar system at school and seems interested in the planets. Right now he can remember all the eight planets. Today I took him to the London Planetarium for a brief show on the planets, which he likes very much.

I was wondering what else I can do to enhance his interest, so that it would not fade away. Maybe if I can do something, he would have a long-term interest and become a good scientist (?).

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Hi, Liam, thanks for writing.  A few ideas: 1. take him out tonight, if it is clear, and show him various stars, constellations, Mars (now in the west), etc.  2. show him, where many videos, photos, etc. are on line.  NASA-TV is good.  3. as a coincidence, in a bit less than 3 hours (9:56 PM my time, or July 21, 2:56 AM Greenwich Time), it will be the 45th anniversary of the first moon walk by Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong.  45 years ago right now, they have landed and are preparing to exit the LEM.  BTW, the total computer memory (top of the line in 1969) was 78 KILObytes!!  I have a hard drive with 13 MILLION times that much memory!!  4. other websites with the latest astronomy news include:,,  5. buy a pair of binoculars, which are great to see the moon, some galaxies and nebulae, an occasional comet, and dimmer stars.  Make sure he does not look at the Sun, however!!  6. In a few years, he may be able to use a telescope.  7. The International Space Station is brightly visible.  Check to see when it is visible there.  Write anytime.

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Kenneth Renshaw


Answer basic space flight questions, research info on specific space flights. Answer questions on astronomy


Amateur astronomer and avid astronomy/space flight fan for 31 years.

Official NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador for Arkansas and Missouri (one of about 300 nationwide). (

Numerous local and area newspapers.


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