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Let’s Do Some Engineering!!

Only 9 days left to enter

The “Next Moon Step” is a summer challenge leading up to an Artemis essay contest this fall, and we’re excited to start some out-of-this-world brainstorming now! When Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the Moon in 1969, he famously said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Now over 50 years later, NASA’s Artemis program will return astronauts to the Moon. We want to hear what it means to you!

Your challenge is to create an image of your footprint (photo or artwork) and tell us what you would say, in 20 words or less, if you were the next person to step foot on the Moon.

Here’s some exciting information about the Artemis program, but the EDUCATION RESOURCES section has even more information about lunar exploration. NASA’s Artemis program has the bold challenge of landing “the first woman and the next man” on the Moon, specifically at the lunar south pole region by 2024. Working with its industry and international partners, NASA will fine-tune precision landing technologies and develop new mobility capabilities that allow robots and crew to travel greater distances and explore new regions of the Moon. On the Moon’s surface, NASA has proposed building a new Artemis Base Camp with habitat and rovers, to test new power systems and more to prepare for future human exploration of Mars.

Only 14 days left to enter

Are you ready to think like a NASA engineer? We want you to reinvent the wheel – literally! Use your creativity to come up with a rover wheel design that you think would best explore Mars. Create a digital 3D model of your reinvented wheel and submit your design along with an image of the 3D model and short description of your entry. While digital 3D models are encouraged, young inventors in Grades K-5 can opt to provide an image of a sketch or mockup instead of a 3D model.

NASA’s Perseverance rover has six wheels made of aluminum designed to drive across sandy, rocky, and hilly Martian terrain. The new and improved tire treads, or grousers, were designed by NASA-JPL engineers to be a series of slightly S-curved lines. This approach builds on the lessons learned from NASA’s previous rovers – Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. Spirit for example, got stuck in a sandy area. Curiosity’s wheels are still going strong, but are starting to show wear and tear. And this is just Mars! NASA Glenn engineers are looking back to lessons learned from exploring the moon to design new metal spring tires made with a shape memory alloy, and NASA has previously developed prototype rovers like the ATHLETE rover with multi-function wheels.

There is much more Mars exploration to come – from returning Mars samples to Earth and looking onward to sending astronauts. There is no doubt many more rovers headed for the red planet, so we want to know your creative ideas for traversing across Mars! Visit the web site to enter.

Let me know if you need help. You can register using our Baden Academy Future Engineers class code if you wish. I’d love to see what you make!

Class Code: X5RF47 

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