SME talk: NASA Artemis Program Overview [ROADS News for teams (July 23, 2020)] 🗓

G’day, challenge teams!

This is a last-minute notification, but we’re excited to invite you to join us for this talk! Tomorrow — Friday, July 24 — we’ll be hearing from Patrick Troutman, lead for human exploration strategic assessments at the NASA Langley Research Center, who will be presenting an Artemis Program overview. The talk will be streamed on Facebook Live, and we hope you’ll join us!

Science Matter Expert (SME) Presentation: NASA Artemis Program Overview

Details

About Patrick Troutman

A man wearing a white shirt with a black tie and sport coat stands in front of a window. The man is white and has brown hair.Patrick A. Troutman graduated in 1984 from Virginia Tech with a BS in aerospace and oceanographic engineering along with a minor in computer science. In the past 35 years he has worked for NASA designing and assessing the International Space Station, leading systems analysis related to future space scenarios including managing the NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) program, helping to define the Vision for Space Exploration, leading the integration for the Constellation Program lunar surface architecture, and leading human space exploration mission design for the NASA Human Spaceflight Architecture Team and the Evolvable Mars Campaign. Patrick currently serves as the lead for human exploration strategic assessments at the NASA Langley Research Center where his current efforts include developing what the next set of activities for humans should be beyond the international space station including crewed missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

ROADS on Mars Freestyle winners

We are very excited to announce the top teams from our ROADS on Mars Freestyle Challenge!  Teams were eligible for prizes as a top overall team and as “best of” the Mission Objectives.  We are also pleased to award a few additional awards to teams who were especially deserving, and to award Special Commendations for efforts that were particularly impressive.

Top Teams for Overall Excellence in Mission Performance

Millburn Phobos — New Jersey

SPACETACULAR — Texas

COVID-19 Spirit Award

Arrows of Artemis — Montana

Eagle Mind Squad — South Carolina

Intrepid Award for Best Solo Effort

Perseverance — Washington

Best of Mission Objective #2 — Map Construction

VMI — Oregon

Exploring in the Dark — Washington

Best of Mission Objective #3 — Communication Dish

Ares Bobcats — Arizona

Best of Mission Objective #4 — Lander

The Martian PALs Freestyle — New Jersey

Best of Mission Objective #5 — Map Navigation

TEAM STILE — Louisiana

Crusaders — Washington

Best of Mission Objective #6 — Search for Life

The New Von Brauns — Idaho

Best of Mission Objective #7 — Mission Development Log

Arrows of Artemis — Montana

Best of Mission Objective #8 — Video Report

ASK Academy NASA Robotics Team — New Mexico

Special Commendations

Excellence in VR

VMI — Oregon

Superlative Team Communication

The Martian PALs Freestyle — New Jersey

Excellence in Sample Collection

TEAM STILE — Louisiana

Innovative Use of LEGO

Crusaders — Washington

Excellence in Rover Design

Perseverance — Washington

Excellence in Engineering Design & Science Methodologies

Baby Dragon — Nevada

Excellence in Robotic Engineering

Kerbal Krew — South Dakota

Excellence in Robotic Programming

VMX (Valor Mars eXploration) — Oregon

Humor in Video Production

Lost in Space — Washington

Innovative Use of Google Sites for MDL

Flight Team Excel — Maine

Resourcefulness in Mapmaking

Team 127% — Montana

ROADS on Mars / ROADS Freestyle — News for teams (June 11, 2020)

G’day, Mars enthusiasts!

From NASA — Mars2020 Launch

Even though COVID-19 restrictions are keeping Kennedy Space Center off-limits for most of us, the Mars2020 rover launch is scheduled to go forward as planned.  Currently, the rover is tentatively scheduled to launch on Monday, July 20, around 9 a.m. Eastern Time (6 a.m. Pacific Time).  As always, this depends on the weather in Florida!  But NASA will be livestreaming the launch via their usual channels.  You can get more info here: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/launch/watch-online/

From NESSP — “Meet an Expert” series

We have no sessions of “Meet an Expert” coming up, but that makes this a great time to catch up on ones you missed!

From NESSP — Mars challenge updates

ROADS on Mars Student Challenge


The ROADS on Mars Student Challenge remains on hold — but not forever!  Stay tuned for an announcement later this month on how we’re rebooting the ROADS on Mars challenge so that teams can finish their missions.

ROADS Freestyle Challenge

The ROADS Freestyle Challenge scoring process is nearly complete and we should be announcing winners by mid-June.  All teams will receive an email and prize-winning teams will be announced on our website.

Where’s Mars?

Can we see Mars in the sky yet?  It’s still an early-dawn object, but if you happen to be up you’ll find it if you look east-southeast to south.  Mars is currently in the constellation Aquarius and is growing brighter and larger every week.

Stay safe!  Keep your rovers at the ready.  And above all — have FUN.

ROADS on Mars / ROADS Freestyle — News for teams (May 13, 2020)

G’day, Mars enthusiasts!

How do you make the journey from doing robotics competitions in high school to working at Houston’s Mission Control?  Well, we just so happen to know someone who’s done exactly that!

“Meet an Expert” series

We’ve had some great “Meet an Expert” chats this spring, with another one coming up this week!  Hope you’ll be able to join us, because this is going to be exciting….

“Meet an Expert” — Ben Honey from Mission Control

What’s it like to work in Mission Control at Johnson Space Center?  Ben Honey is joining us on Zoom to tell us all about it!  “Ben has always loved space exploration, but his first love was astronomy and planetary science. He changed focus to engineering after joining the FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) club in high school.”

Details:

“Meet an Expert” — Series archives

If you’ve missed any of our previous chats, you can access them anytime on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mqPwuC2YI&list=PL1p2GTGjWAoh7yFlgWCJS31Y4-OK9rd8T

Mars2020 progress

The NASA team at Kennedy Space Center continues to progress on preparing the Perseverance rover for its mission to the Red Planet.  Mars and the Earth are in alignment for space travel only every few years, so this July’s launch is an important window that can’t be missed.

You can follow along with the rover’s preparations on NASA’s Mars2020 blog:

Where’s Mars in the sky?

Can you see Mars in the sky right now?  Well, maybe if you’re an early bird (or a night owl who’s up very, very late).  Here’s an excerpt from Sky & Telescope’s “Sky at a Glance” says for May 8–16:

Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn shine in the southeast to south before and during early dawn.  Jupiter, the brightest, is on the right. Before dawn begins, spot the Sagittarius Teapot to the right of it. Saturn glows pale yellow to Jupiter’s left. Mars is much farther to Saturn’s left or lower left. In a telescope Mars is no longer a tiny blob but a little gibbous disk. Mars is on its way to an excellent opposition in early October.

Opposition, in astronomy terms, is when Mars will be on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.  We see the moon in an approximate opposition every month during full moon.  When the moon is in a more exact opposition with the Earth and sun, we have a lunar eclipse.

Mars, of course, is much too far away to be eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow, but its opposition in October will be an excellent opportunity to view the planet in the night sky.

ROADS on Mars Student Challenge update

The ROADS on Mars Student Challenge remains on hold for the time being.  But we are excited to (finally) be announcing some of the prize-winning mini-challenge teams!  The first wave of top teams for the Landscape Morphology mini-challenge are up on our website: https://nwessp.org/2020/05/roads-on-mars-mini-challenge-winners-landscape-morphology-part-1/  More mini-challenge top teams will be announced in the coming weeks!

ROADS Freestyle Challenge update

Freestyle teams, don’t forget that your submissions are due by Monday, May 18!  The submission form is live on our website: https://nwessp.org/programs/pages/challenges/current/mars-freestyle/submit/

Stay safe!  Keep your rovers at the ready.  And above all — have FUN.

For teams

Are you on a ROADS Freestyle Challenge team? This page has links to news and resources that may be helpful for you as you work on your Mission Objectives.

Newsletters

Subject matter experts

ROADS Freestyle — News for teams (May 1, 2020)

G’day, ROADS Freestyle teams!

First things first.  If you haven’t heard …

ROADS Freestyle — Submission date extended!

That’s right, you have a few more weeks to finish up your mission and send your submission materials to us.  Submissions are now due on Monday, May 18.  We’ll have a submissions portal on our website soon.

Also….

Virtual meeting for team support — Tuesday, May 5

Have questions about the ROADS Freestyle Challenge?  Chat with NESSP on Tuesday, May 5, to get answers.  And don’t forget that you can always submit questions to us via email: nwessp@uw.edu

Details:

  • Tuesday, May 5
  • 1 p.m. (Pacific Time) / 4 p.m. (Eastern Time)
  • Platform: Zoom

Instructions for joining us on Zoom:

You can join us two ways:

1) The meeting will be online using Zoom. To access both audio and video, join the meeting using this link: https://washington.zoom.us/j/5555431943

We recommend taking a few minutes prior to the meeting time to set up Zoom so that you don’t miss the first few minutes of the chat!

2)  To listen to the audio only, use either of these access phone numbers:

+1-669-900-6833. Meeting ID: 5555431943#; then press # again. (U.S.; San Jose.)

+1-646-876-9923. Meeting ID: 5555431943#; then press # again. (U.S.; New York.)

See you soon!

ROADS Freestyle Mission Objectives

ROADS Freestyle teams will need the Mission Objectives (MO) document to guide them as they complete the mission. The PDF covers required objectives for the Freestyle challenge and is available in a printable format and a format that’s easier to read digitally.

ROADS on Mars / ROADS Freestyle — News for teams (April 10, 2020)

“Meet an Expert” series

Earlier this week we had an amazing Zoom session with astronaut Fred Haise of the Apollo 13 crew.  And next week our “Meet an Expert” series will feature another planetary protection expert.

Fred Haise — Now up on YouTube

We’ve posted the video from our Zoom chat with Fred Haise to our YouTube channel.  If you’ve missed any of our past “Meet an Expert” sessions, you can also catch up on them there.

“Meet an Expert” — André Galli

For our next “Meet an Expert” chat, André Galli from the University of Bern in Switzerland will join us to delve more into planetary protection!  Students will have time for Q&A with André after his presentation.

Details:

ROADS Freestyle — Submission date extended!

We’ve extended the submission date for the ROADS Free Challenge.  Freestyle teams now have up to May 18 to get their submissions to us.

Haven’t signed up for the Freestyle challenge yet?  There’s also still plenty of time to register.  Details on the challenge are at: https://nwessp.org/mars-freestyle/

ROADS on Mars / ROADS Freestyle — News for teams (March 31, 2020)

ROADS Freestyle Challenge

If your Mars skills feel like they’re going dull with so many activities suspended right now, we have great news for you!  We’ve launched a new challenge that any team can do even while observing “safer-at-home” policies in place for coronavirus.  It’s called ROADS on Mars Freestyle Challenge and registration is now open!

About the Freestyle challenge

  • Roughly follows the objectives of the original ROADS on Mars challenge, but only uses items your team members in their homes.
  • Still a team activity (not a solo adventure!), so one of the challenges is to devise how your team will work together while also staying safe under “stay-at-home” policies.
  • Is a completely separate challenge from the original ROADS on Mars — which, yes, means your team’s progress on ROADS doesn’t really count toward Freestyle.  However….
  • Is open to all K–12 students in the U.S. whether or not they registered for the original ROADS.  So if you didn’t get to register for ROADS, now is your chance to sign up for a Mars mission!  (And if you did sign up for the original ROADS, this is a nice opportunity for your team to keep working together toward Mars.)

Prizes!

  • Top prize is a trip to a NASA center!  (Date to be determined, of course.)
  • “Best in Mission Objective” prize for most of the Mission Objectives.

Details

  • Register by:  Monday, April 13
  • Submit your team’s mission documentation by:  Monday, April 27
  • Freestyle website

In particular, please review the details — and download a copy of the Mission Objectives document — on the Freestyle Details page!  And if you have any questions, please email us: nwessp@uw.edu

Cool things to watch online

Our most recent “Meet an Expert” Zoom chat was last week — if you missed it, it’s now up on our website and YouTube.  We also have another one coming up next week, plus a recommendation for some lectures from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  We know that joining a webinar can be tough right now, not least because everyone else is clogging up the internet trying to do the same thing, but if you’re able to tune into any of these, we think you’ll find them useful.

Upcoming “Meet an Expert”

We are SO excited that our next expert chat will be with none other than Fred Haise, one of the Apollo 13 astronauts!  We really hope you’ll join us for this one!

Last week’s “Meet an Expert”

On March 26 we chatted with John Rummel, a senior scientist at the SETI Institute, about “planetary protection” — aka, keeping Earth (and other solar system bodies) safe from microbes.  If you missed it, you can view the archived video on our website.

Lecture webcasts from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

JPL has some pretty cool talks coming up as part of their von Kármán Lecture Series, and they’ve taken them online.  Check these out if you can!

Submit 🗓

The submission period for the ROADS Freestyle Challenge has closed.

Congratulations! You’ve completed your ROADS Freestyle mission!! Now it’s time to submit your crew’s documentation. Once you have your Mission Development Log and your 4-minute video finalized, you can submit them either electronically online or physically via postal mail.

Deadline

Monday, May 18, 2020

FAQs

There are 2 submissions due — The Mission Development Log (MDL) and the video are each a separate submission.

MDL file format — The MDL can be in whatever document format works best for your team. For submission, you can choose to upload a file (a Word document, a PDF, &c.) OR to link to the MDL elsewhere (a Google Doc, a document you’ve uploaded to a Dropbox, &c.).

Video file format — The video can be in whatever video format works best for your team. NESSP should be able to translate most any video format, but if we do run into any issues with your file we will be in touch. For submission, you can choose to upload a file OR to link to the elsewhere (in your Google Drive or Dropbox, or if you’ve uploaded the video to social media such as Facebook or YouTube).

Video editing — You do not have to shoot the video in just one long take! We actually expect it will be easiest for teams to shoot many segments of video to be edited together for the final version. Use whatever video editing app you have available to you! We have no requirements on what editor you use. Your final video must accurately show your team’s efforts for the Mission Objectives, but should also show your team’s creativity and ingenuity.

Timeline

The ROADS Freestyle challenge has a timeline of just one month, because we designed it to be a hands-on STEM activity that can be done entirely at home during the spring of 2020 while so much of the U.S. is under safer-at-home directives to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register
from to
Scheduled
Challenge date
Submit
from to
Scheduled
Challenge date
SME talk: NASA Artemis Program Overview [ROADS News for teams (July 23, 2020)]
Scheduled
Newsletter Webinar

Prizes

The NESSP team in Seattle will score all entries for the “ROADS on Mars — Freestyle” challenge. Scoring will be based on the team’s impression of each entry’s originality, innovation, and ability to overcome unseen problems.

Top prize

The top prize will be a funded trip to a NASA center!

(Fine print: In order to receive clearance to visit a NASA center, students must be both age 11 or older at the time of the center visit and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)

Prizes for “Best in Mission Objective”

There will be a prize for “Best in Mission Objective” for each MO 02-08.

Register 🗓

Registration for the ROADS Freestyle Challenge has closed.

Registration for the ROADS Freestyle Challenge is open to students in grades K–12 across the U.S. and territories.

When

  • Registration opens Thursday, March 26.
  • Register by Monday, May 11 (extended!).

Who

  • Participation is open to all students in grades K–12 across the U.S. and territories.
  • Registration for a team should be completed by an adult — usually a teacher or educator, a team member’s parent/guardian, or another adult community member serving as a mentor. This adult will be responsible for passing along all communication from NESSP during the Freestyle challenge, so make sure you have reliable ways of keeping in touch with all of the team’s members!

ROADS Freestyle vs. ROADS on Mars Student Challenge

The ROADS Freestyle Challenge is following in the path of the original ROADS on Mars Student Challenge, but do remember that they are two separate challenges! Think of the Freestyle challenge as a training simulation of the ROADS on Mars challenge — this means that anyone can sign up for the Freestyle challenge, nor are you obligated to do the Freestyle challenge just because you signed up for the ROADS on Mars challenge.

So remember:

  • If you are signed up for the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge, you are not automatically signed up for the Freestyle challenge. Don’t forget to register for Freestyle if you want to do it!
  • If you’re signed up for the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge, you are not obligated to participate in the Freestyle challenge. If you’re busy with other things this spring, you can sit this one out!
  • Registering for the Freestyle challenge does not sign you up for the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge. (Registration for the ROADS on Mars challenge is closed.)

Details

The ROADS Freestyle Challenge is following in the path of the original ROADS on Mars Student Challenge. Think of the Freestyle challenge as a training simulation of the ROADS on Mars challenge.

Students will form teams that act as the crew of a ROADS Freestyle mission. Your crew has 8 Mission Objectives (MO) to accomplish as part of the Freestyle challenge. As your team’s crew members tackle each MO, you’ll be documenting your mission with both video and a Mission Development Log (MDL). When you’ve completed your mission, you’ll submit a final video and your MDL to the NESSP team for scoring. Full details are further down on this page.

The ROADS Freestyle challenge will be … well, challenging! If we’re all practicing excellent social distancing, then each crew member will be working on their tasks on their own at their homes. There’s no need to break quarantine to complete the mission — but that does mean you’ll have to work out how to overcome the communication and collaboration challenges of being a distributed team.

Preliminary steps

Form a team! — A good team size is around 5-6 people. Fewer or more than that is okay, but running it all by yourself would probably be hard! If you already have a team for the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge, we encourage you to keep that team for the Freestyle Challenge.

Register your team. — We strongly recommend that you have your adult register your team by Monday, May 11 (extended!). If you wait any later than that, you’ll likely find your team cutting it a bit close to make the submission deadline.

Plan your mission. — Read over the Mission Objectives document and plan out your mission. Think about what supplies you’ll need, what tasks need to be done, which team member will be responsible for each aspect of the mission, and so on. Since each team member will be working in their own home, also plan how you’ll keep in touch with each other to share updates on your tasks and to assess how the mission is going overall.

Documenting your mission — a.k.a., Submission & scoring

Mission Objectives 07 and 08 below are about documenting your mission — but don’t wait until you’ve done MOs 01 through 06 before thinking about your documentation! You should start thinking about, and working on, your Mission Development Log (MO 07) and your video report (MO 08) right from the beginning. These are the two submissions you will have to send to NESSP for scoring.

Tip! — Read MOs 07 and 08 first. Then go back and read all of the MOs in order, keeping in mind how you’ll document each step in the Mission Development Log and the video report.

The submission process will open in early April. Details will be sent to all registered teams and posted to the website.

References

Documents

ROADS Freestyle teams will need the Mission Objectives document to guide them as they complete the mission. We also recommend the manual for the original ROADS on Mars Student Challenge as a good resource for understanding some of the concepts of the Mars2020 mission.

Maps

The ROADS Freestyle challenge follows the same map used for the original ROADS on Mars Student Student Challenge. Freestyle teams will create their own maps to use at home, but will be recreating the features of the ROADS map (see MOs 01 and 02 below). Both the official map and the annotated map are included in the Mission Objectives document (above).

  • ROADS official Mars map — JPEG (31MB) | PDF (43MB)
  • ROADS official Mars map, with annotations — JPEG (5MB)

Mission Objectives (MO)

The ROADS Freestyle Challenge has a total of 8 MOs — and objectives 02-08 are each eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize!

MO-01: Design your map

Design your own obstacle course. Keep in mind the features of the Mars 2020 landing site used in the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge. How you interpret and implement those features is entirely up to your team!

Notes:

  • Each team member will complete this MO on their own — please avoid in-person meetings with anyone outside of your household!

MO-02: Build your map

Each team member should replicate the map at their house. Everyone’s maps must have the same dimensions, but use whatever objects you have on hand to create the obstacle course designed in MO 01. A landing zone, river delta, mountains, crater, samples to be collected, and the delivery/caching point for the rock samples must be identifiable on each map.

Notes:

  • Each team member will complete this MO on their own — please avoid in-person meetings with anyone outside of your household!
  • This MO is eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize.

MO-03: Build a communication dish

An interplanetary mission needs a communication apparatus to communicate with Earth. One crew member will design a communication dish (using 10 separate pieces of material that can be found at home), provide the design to all other crew members, and then create a video of constructing the dish and placing it on the map. All other members should then build a copy of the communication dish according to the team design and place it on their own map. Each crew member’s map must have a communication dish, and the dish must be visible in the videos that crew members record for MOs 04-05.

Notes:

  • Only one crew member will design the communication dish for this MO, so decide among your team who will do it. All other crew members must use the design to then build their own copy of the dish.
  • This MO is eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize.

MO-04: Build a lander & drop it on Mars

One crew member will design, build, and land a lander on their Mars map. The lander should be built out of material you can find at home, but unlike the communication dish in MO 03, there is no requirement on number of pieces. To land on Mars, use whatever means you have available in the house to drop off the lander in the landing circle without directly touching the lander. Be creative, but direct placement on the lander by hand is not allowed! The crew member must record a video demonstrating the lander being dropped off in the landing zone on the map — the video does not need to include construction of the lander.

Notes:

  • Only one crew member needs to complete this MO, so decide among your team who will do it.
  • This MO is eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize.

MO-05: Navigate Mars with a robotic rover

A crew member with a robotic or toy vehicle will use their “rover” to navigate the map should complete this MO. Use the rover to go through the obstacle course to collect the rock samples and deliver them to the cache sample zone on the map.

Notes:

  • Only one crew member needs to complete this MO, so decide among your team who will do it.
  • This MO is eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize.

MO-06: Search for life

One crew member will perform a search for signs of life within their household. Look for bugs, things decomposing, etc. The member who accomplishes this objective should describe the search extensively in the MDL.

Notes:

  • Only one crew member needs to complete this MO, so decide among your team who will do it.
  • This MO is eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize.

MO-07: Mission development log (MDL)

Tell us about your activities! What are you learning? What has been easy? What has been difficult? Did you find knowledge about these topics from a book, an online video, a teacher, a friend? Tell us everything! Each team member should contribute, but have one crew member compile the final document for submission to NESSP.

Notes:

  • All members can contribute to this MO, but have just one crew member compile the final version to be submitted to NESSP.
  • This MO is eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize.

MO-08: Mission video report

One crew member should collect all the videos from the team and create a single, 4-minute video documenting the team’s mission. If you’re comfortable sharing the video on social media (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), that’s great! The submission form will ask you for the link to your social media post. If you’d rather not post your video publicly online, that’s totally fine, too — the submission form will also allow you to upload it directly to NESSP for scoring.

Notes:

  • All members can contribute to this MO, but have just one crew member compile the final version to be submitted to NESSP.
  • This MO is eligible for a “Best in Mission Objective” prize.

ROADS on Mars — Freestyle! (2020)

Even when a NASA crew isn’t on an active mission, everyone is still working and maintaining readiness in one way or another. Mission Control staff run simulations to practice their skills. Astronauts train in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab to prepare to work on the International Space Station.

So even though NESSP’s 2019–2020 ROADS on Mars Student Challenge is currently grounded, we’re still offering ways for everyone to keep their Mars skills sharp. We’re calling it “ROADS on Mars Freestyle,” and it’s open to anyone in the U.S. and territories in grades K–12! Just as the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge “follows in the path of” the Mars2020 mission, the Freestyle challenge will follow in the path of the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge. What this means is that teams will replicate — at their homes! — many of the mission objectives from the original ROADS on Mars Student Challenge. Information is on the Details page.

The ROADS on Mars Student Challenge and this ROADS on Mars Freestyle Challenge are two separate challenges! You do not need to be on a team signed up for the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge in order to sign up for Freestyle. We encourage anyone who is not signed up for the ROADS on Mars challenge to sign up for Freestyle — just as we also welcome any team who is signed up for the ROADS on Mars challenge to also join us for Freestyle. Full details are on the Register page.

The top team of the Freestyle challenge will earn a funded trip to a NASA center! There will also be “Best in Mission Objective” prizes. Information is on the Prizes page.

Registration for the Freestyle challenge will open on Thursday, March 26. Freestyle challenge entries are due by Monday, May 18 (extended!). A full list of events and deadlines is on the Timeline page.

Read more about the Freestyle challenge

Watch the launch video

Questions?

Email: nwessp@uw.edu

ROADS on Mars — News for teams (March 24, 2020)

G’day, ROADS on Mars teams!

Meet an expert

We hope you can join us this Thursday, March 26, for another of our “Meet an Expert” chats! John Rummel, a senior scientist at the SETI Institute, will join us for an hour to talk on a subject that may sound very familiar right now — planetary protection. How do we keep Earth from getting contaminated by microbes from space? How do we protect other bodies in the solar system (Mars, for example!) from becoming contaminated by organisms from Earth? When the Apollo 11 astronauts returned from that first mission to the moon, they were quarantined for nearly a month in a special Airstream trailer. What does planetary protection look like in our modern era? John’s talk will cover the rationale for planetary protection considerations and its implementation during interplanetary journeys.

Details:

Important ROADS announcement coming Thursday!

The ROADS on Mars challenge may be indefinitely suspended — but you don’t have to step off the ROAD(s) just yet. NESSP has been brainstorming ideas on how we can continue working on our mission even while we’re grounded, and on Thursday we’ll have an exciting announcement on our new, ROADS-related project. Join us for our “Meet an Expert” chat to get all the details. Or, if you can’t join us on Zoom, check out our website Thursday afternoon (Pacific Time) for details to go live.