Checkpoint challenge #1 — Crater formation 🗓

Scheduled Challenge date

Submissions for this first checkpoint challenge come from Mission Objective #02 “Crater Formation and Evolution” in the ROADS on Asteroids manual. For classes following our companion course, crater formation is covered in unit 2 lesson 2.

What’s the objective?

The snowman feature of Vesta is made up of a series of three craters. Your team should consider the two questions below, devise an experiment to test your theories, and record a short video showing your experiment and discussing your evidence and conclusions.

  • Did these craters form at the same time or form at different times?
  • What is the evidence for your team’s decision?

Teams should try the experiment using different materials such as coarse sand, play sand, flour or washing powder, or layers of these different materials. Try to capture crater formation in slow-motion (a feature available on many smart phones), and then show how the steepness of the wall changes with subsequent impacts to decide the relative ages of the individual craters.

What you’ll submit

  • Video of your team’s exploration of crater formation (formats accepted: .mp4, .mov)
  • Media release forms

About the media release forms

NASA requests a media release form for any person whose face is shown in the video, whether student or adult. Your forms can be submitted either as uploaded documents or as a link to your documents elsewhere (such as a Google Doc, a doc on Dropbox, and so forth).

UPDATE — December 16, 2020

Our website has had a somewhat hiccup-y time recently, and one thing affected was registration for ROADS on Asteroids — we’ve heard from several teams who thought they’d registered, but it turned out that NESSP had no record of the registration.

If you DO NOT have a confirmation email from NESSP with your team’s number, you should register again.

If you do not receive an on-screen message in a green box, your form did not submit!  You should also receive a confirmation email.  If you have questions, please email us:

Checkpoint challenge #1 submission form