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