ROADS News for Crews, April 28 — Submissions DUE!

G’day, ROADS crews!

We’re approaching the end of our mission — your final submissions are DUE APRIL 30.  That’s this Friday!

Remember that your submission will include the following materials (please read the complete instructions on the final submissions web page):

  1. Mission Development Log (MDL)
  2. Mission video
  3. Scoresheet

We’ve had a few questions about the scoresheet, so here are some tips:

  • Use the tab called “Challenge Scoresheet” (ignore all other tabs).
  • Add your team’s number and name in the cells at the top.
  • Each score-able item has a drop-down list.  Select one of the items on the drop-down to enter the score.

(More instructions and tips can be found on the following webpage: How to complete the ROADS on Asteroids scoresheet for challenge submissions)

But don’t stress too much about the scoresheet!  Our judges use it as a double-check when scoring your MDL and video, so we do need to have it and it truly is helpful, but it is definitely not the final say on your team’s score.

If you have questions, please drop us an email.  We’ll be available to provide answers on final submissions up until 5 p.m. in Seattle, WA, (Pacific Daylight Time) on Friday, April 30.

Do your best and good luck!  And remember, if all else fails — wing it like Winglee.

ROADS News for Crews, March 30 — Final deadline adjusted

G’day, ROADS crews!

We have good news for you!

Final submissions — NOW DUE April 30, 2021
We weren’t giving you enough time to finalize your submissions, and so we’ve pushed out the deadline to Friday, April 30, 2021.  Thank you to everyone who wrote in about it!

The submissions portal will be open later this week.

Reminder: Chat with an expert — Thursday, April 1, 2021
How do scientists study asteroids? Join us to chat with NASA scientist Nicole Lunning to learn about exciting missions to asteroids (OSIRIS-REx, Dawn & more!) and how scientists investigate samples returned by spacecraft as well as meteorites in laboratories at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

This chat will be a Zoom webinar. You do not need to be registered with Zoom to join us — you can select “Join from browser” from the loading screen.

ROADS News for Crews, March 28 — Chat with an Expert “Investigating Asteroids”

G’day, ROADS crews!

We have an expert chat coming up that you will not want to miss — it’s all about how scientists study asteroids!  Hope to see you on Thursday, April 1.

Chat with an expert — Thursday, April 1, 2021
How do scientists study asteroids? Join us to chat with NASA scientist Nicole Lunning to learn about exciting missions to asteroids (OSIRIS-REx, Dawn & more!) and how scientists investigate samples returned by spacecraft as well as meteorites in laboratories at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

This chat will be a Zoom webinar. You do not need to be registered with Zoom to join us — you can select “Join from browser” from the loading screen.

Checkpoint challenges — Scoring will wrap up soon!
Thank you for all of your amazing submissions for the checkpoint challenges!  We will wrap up scoring soon.  Keep an eye out for prize announcements.

Final submissions — Submissions portal opening this week
Materials for your final submissions for ROADS on Asteroids will be due on Saturday, April 10, 2021.  The submission portal will open this week — when it’s ready, we’ll email you with details.

ROADS News for Crews, Feb. 22 — Checkpoint Challenges final extension!

G’day, ROADS crews!

Thank you all for your patience and your kind emails as our office moved forward after Dr. Winglee’s death.  Our ROADS this year may have gotten off to a bumpy start, but we know that Robert would have been so pleased to see all of you continuing on with meeting your Mission Objectives.

We are holding open our Checkpoint Challenge submissions portals for just a few more days to make sure all teams have had a chance to upload their materials.  You can find links to each Checkpoint Challenge’s page here:
https://nwessp.org/asteroids/submissions/

For Checkpoint Challenge numbers 1 and 2, remember that you’re creating a video where you’ll show your experimentation and discuss your team’s processes and findings.  That’s it!  No supplemental material needed.

For Checkpoint Challenge #3, you’ll be creating an image of your team’s mission patch and providing a short, written explanation of the patch’s design.  You can combine these into one single document, or you can upload them as two separate pieces — one an image of the patch and one a written document of your patch’s explanation.

Deadline — Thursday, February 25, 2021
We will keep the submissions portals open through Thursday night, but on Friday we’ll collate submissions for all the checkpoints and send them off to our judges for scoring.

ROADS News for Crews — Chat with a Mars Perseverance specialist on Thursday, Feb. 11! 🗓

G’day, ROADS crews!

The Perseverance rover is just days away from its scheduled landing on Mars! NESSP is very excited to welcome Trevor Graff from NASA Johnson Space Center for one of our expert chats. Trevor was project manager for flight hardware on the rover, and he’ll take us on an exploration of the rover’s scientific instruments, discuss details on its preparations for launch, and take us on a look at Perseverance’s upcoming landing on Mars.

Mars Perseverance — Get Ready to Explore!

This chat will be a Zoom webinar. You do not need to be registered with Zoom to join us — you can select “Join from browser” from the loading screen.

See you soon!

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.

Let’s finish the mission! — ROADS on Mars reboot information

G’day, ROADS on mars teams!

This is the email/blog post you’ve been waiting for — we’re officially announcing the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge reboot.

This is not a restart!  We’re not asking teams to go back to the beginning and start all over again.  The challenge will pick up where we left off back in March.  You won’t lose any of the work that you’ve already done.

How will we finish the final stages of the challenge?  Virtually, by early September around when the school year usually starts.

Here are a few details:

Mini-challenges

Mini-challenge awards for most hubs have been announced.  Some hubs were still accepting mission patch submissions when the ROADS on Mars challenge went on hiatus. NESSP is working with those hubs to finish accepting submissions and announce winners.

Mission Development Log (MDL)

Each team’s MDL was originally due during the hub’s challenge event, to be reviewed during the on-deck time.  For the reboot, all MDLs will be submitted online — similar to how the mini-challenge submissions were submitted.  The submission portal for MDLs will open in August.

Running the final challenge

There will be no in-person events for any hub.  Teams will record their challenge run and submit it online for scoring.  Videos must be of one single run of the challenge — straight through, no cuts or edits.  This will result in a video that is long and difficult to upload, so teams should use social media (for example, Facebook Live) to broadcast and record their challenge run.  Teams will then submit the URL to that video for the NESSP team and hubs to review.

Teams will also submit a score sheet of their official challenge run.  NESSP will provide an official score sheet which should be used by an educator or mentor who is present during the team’s run to assess and score the team’s mission performance.  Teams will then upload that score sheet when they submit their video URL to NESSP.  We’ll use that completed score sheet to compare notes when we review the video for official scoring.

The score sheet will be available on the NESSP website later this summer, along with tips on getting good video when your team runs the challenge.

The score sheet and video will be due in September according to the submission period set by each hub — some may accept submissions in August, some in September.  We’ll announce exact dates later this summer.

More info to come!

Details on deadlines, recording your video, and submitting your materials will be available over the summer.  Keep an eye on your inbox and on the NESSP blog for information as it becomes available!

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.

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!