Spacecraft Materials Kit

Brief description:
Pupils can use the ESA Spacecraft Materials Kit to experimentally investigate a variety of different materials.
A set of five activities enables pupils to get acquainted with the properties of different materials, comparing and grouping everyday materials based on: electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, mass, magnetism, and resistance to impact.
Pupils will consider which materials are best suited for different parts of a spacecraft. This resource takes ESA’s European Service Module as an example, a capsule that will power NASA’s Orion Spacecraft to the International Space Station.
The European Service Module includes large tanks which hold fuel as well consumables for the astronauts: oxygen, nitrogen and water. Through this activity, pupils will be able to carry out experiments, take measurements, record data, and present their results.

Subject: Science, Physics, Technology

Learning Objectives:

Experiment, compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties:

  • resistance to impacts
  • magnetism
  • electrical conductivity
  • thermal conductivity
  • and measuring mass.


Age range:
8-12 years old
Lesson: 1 to 2 hours
Resource available in:
The Spacecraft Materials Kit

The Spacecraft Materials Kit is a box containing six sets of cubes made of a variety of materials, as well as all the necessary equipment for testing the cubes.

You can borrow the kit through your local ESERO office. Use the contact details of your national ESERO on your national country page to find out about the loan procedure in your country, as well as to get the documents translated into your national language. 

Supporting Video Demonstrations 

Visual instructions describing how to set up and use the kit.

An ESA scientist explains to pupils which materials are useful for building spacecraft, and challenges pupils to investigate different materials themselves.