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Web Site Features Archive

As this new web site changes and grows, past features will be archived here. The date each item was moved from the front page is noted.

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December 29
2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff
FIRST Logo NASA Meatball
The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff will take place Saturday January 7th, 2012 with NASA TV coverage beginning at 10:30AM EST. Content related to the broadcast will be posted following the kickoff.

+ Kickoff Viewing Options

December 08
Mars Rover Finds Mineral Vein
'Homestake' Vein in Color
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has found bright veins of a mineral, apparently gypsum, deposited by water. Analysis of the vein will help improve understanding of the history of wet environments on Mars.

The vein examined most closely by Opportunity is about the width of a human thumb (0.4 to 0.8 inch, or 1 to 2 centimeters), 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 centimeters) long, and protrudes slightly higher than the bedrock on either side of it. Observations by the durable rover reveal this vein and others like it within an apron surrounding a segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater. None like it were seen in the 20 miles (33 kilometers) of crater-pocked plains that Opportunity explored for 90 months before it reached Endeavour, nor in the higher ground of the rim.

+ More Information On This Discovery
+ More Information On Opportunity

November 26
Successful NASA MSL Launch!
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft, including the new Curiosity rover, is flying free after separation from the Centaur, the upper stage of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that started the spacecraft on its journey to the Red Planet. Liftoff was on time at 10:02 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

+ More Info on MSL

November 21
NASA FRC Sponsorship Award Winners!
FIRST Logo NASA Meatball
The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship award winners have now been selected. To view if your team has been selected, follow the link below. For those teams that have won an award, please complete the entrance survey below.

Update:We have just announced the 2012 NASA House Team Winners! Check out the teams that made the list and find more about NASA House Teams!

+ View  Winners
+ View 2012 House Team Winners
+ Complete the Entrance Survey
+ View Entrance Survey Completion Status

November 11
2011 Girl Scout NASA FLL Tournament Webcast
FFL logo
The Girl Scout NASA FLL qualifying tournament will be held on Saturday, November 12 from 9am-5pm PST. The webcast link will become available before the event.

+ Webcast
+ Event Info
+ FLL Website

October 24
NASA's FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship Application
FIRST Logo NASA Meatball
The 2012 NASA FIRST Robotics Competition sponsorship application is now closed. The directions page remains available for reference. We hope that you all had a chance to submit an application. Good luck!

+ Directions

October 18
2011 CalGames: FRC Pre-Season Competition webcast
Western Region Robotics Logo
FRC pre-season competitions have begun. Check out the CalGames webcast on October 21-22, 2011

+ CalGames Info
+ webcast

October 03
NASA's FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship Application
FIRST Logo NASA Meatball
The 2012 NASA FIRST Robotics Competition sponsorship application is now open! Interested in getting a sneak peek at the questions before you register with our site, check out the questions page.

+ Go to the Directions and Registration Page
+ View the Questions Page

September 29
NASA's FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship Application Info
FIRST Logo NASA Meatball
The 2012 NASA FIRST Robotics Competition sponsorship application is quickly approaching! To assist the teams in the application process we are posting the directions and questions online ahead of the application start. The questions posted are the same questions that are used in the actual application, and you can use them to prepare for the application.

Applications for sponsorship will be accepted between Monday, October 3, 2011 at 00:00:00 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 23:59:59 PDT. Applications submitted after Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 23:59:59 PDT will not be considered. 

+ View the Directions Page
+ View the Questions Page

September 19
NASA Announces Design for New Deep Space Exploration System
Concept of SLS Launch
NASA is ready to move forward with the development of the Space Launch System -- an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit. The Space Launch System will give the nation a safe, affordable and sustainable means of reaching beyond our current limits and opening up new discoveries from the unique vantage point of space.

+ More info on SLS

September 06
Opportunity studies Mar's rock Tisdale 2
Tisdale 2 Rock
"This is different from any rock ever seen on Mars," said Steve Squyres, principal investigator for Opportunity at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "It has a composition similar to some volcanic rocks, but there's much more zinc and bromine than we've typically seen. We are getting confirmation that reaching Endeavour really has given us the equivalent of a second landing site for Opportunity."

The diversity of fragments in Tisdale 2 could be a prelude to other minerals Opportunity might find at Endeavour. In the past two weeks, researchers have used an instrument on the rover's robotic arm to identify elements at several spots on Tisdale 2. Scientists have also examined the rock using the rover's microscopic imager and multiple filters of its panoramic camera.

+ More info on Tisdale 2
+ More info on Mars Exploration Rovers

September 01
RAP Service Outages
NASA meatball
Due to upgrades at our facilities, some of the Robotics Alliance Projects services may be down over the next few days. All services are expected to be back to full operation on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause you.

Update: All services should be back online.

August 29
Follow us on Twitter
Twitter Bird Logo

Follow the Robotics Alliance Project on Twitter! We use twitter to post about announcements, new features, and much more!

Follow @NASA_RAP on Twitter!

August 13
Inaugural Scout Class Underwater ROV
Scout Class ROV
The Inaugural Oahu Scout Class Underwater ROV competition takes place this Saturday 8/13/2011 at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. The competition runs from 5-7:00PM HST and is being webcast live!

+ Watch the Webcast Live

August 10 FIRST: Science is Rock & Roll
There is a one-hour TV special promoting education, science and technology airing Sunday, August 14th at 7:00-8:00PM ET on The ABC Television Network. " FIRST: Science is Rock & Roll" is an hour long show with highlights from the 20th Annual FIRST Robotics Championship and features live performances by The Black Eyed Peas and Willow Smith, as well as special appearances from celebrities speaking out to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

+ More Information
+ Press Release (PDF)

August 10
NASA Mars Rover Arrives at New Site on Martian Surface
NASA Mar's Endeavour Crater
After a journey of almost three years, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the Red Planet’s Endeavour crater to study rocks never seen before.

On Aug. 9, the golf cart-sized rover relayed its arrival at a location named Spirit Point on the crater’s rim. Opportunity drove approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) after climbing out of the Victoria crater.

+ More Info on Reaching the Endeavour Crater
+ More Info On Mars Exploration Rovers

August 08
NASA's Juno Launches
NASA's Juno
NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:25 a.m. PDT (12:25 p.m. EDT) Friday to begin a five-year journey to Jupiter.

Juno's detailed study of the largest planet in our solar system will help reveal Jupiter's origin and evolution. As the archetype of giant gas planets, Jupiter can help scientists understand the origin of our solar system and learn more about planetary systems around other stars.

+ Latest Mission News (RSS)
+ More info about Juno

August 02
Robotic Refueling Mission Installation
On a recent spacewalk, Mike Fossum and Ron Garan completed installing he Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) experiment onto a platform on Dextre, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator.

In the future, the RRM will demonstrate robotic refueling technology and techniques using Dextre, four unique RRM tools and an RRM enclosure filled with refueling components and activity boards. The tests will demonstrate that remote-controlled robots can perform refueling tasks in orbit, using commands sent from controllers on Earth. RRM is expected to reduce costs and risks, and lay the foundation for future robotic servicing missions.

+ More info on RRM

August 02
NASA's Juno Prepares for Launch
NASA's Juno
NASA’s Juno spacecraft is entering the final stages prior to launch on August 5th, 2011. Juno is NASA’s first of three planetary missions launching this year. The principal goal for Juno is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Jupiter's dense cloud cover safeguards the secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during it's formation. Jupiter can provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.

Keys to know about Juno:
  • Scheduled to launch between Aug. 5 and Aug. 26, 2011
  • Five-year cruise to Jupiter, arriving July 2016
  • Spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for about one year (33 orbits)
  • Mission ends with de-orbit into Jupiter
  • + Latest Mission News (RSS)
    + More info about Juno

    July 27
    Next Mars Rover to Land at Gale Crater
    Mars Science Lab
    The car-sized Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is scheduled to launch late this year and land in August 2012. The target crater spans 96 miles (154 kilometers) in diameter and holds a mountain rising higher from the crater floor than Mount Rainier rises above Seattle. Gale is about the combined area of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Layering in the mound suggests it is the surviving remnant of an extensive sequence of deposits. The crater is named for Australian astronomer Walter F. Gale.

    + More info about landing site
    + More info on Curiosity

    July 12
    2011 International Botball Tournament Live Webcast
    Botball Robot
    At the Global Conference on Educational Robotics the 2011 International Botball Tournament is takes place. The Botball tournament will be webcast live on July 12, 2011 from 9:30AM-2:00PM PDT and July 13th, 2011 from 2:00PM-6:00PM PDT. The competition features Head-to-Head Double Elimination and Cooperative Alliance Matches.

    + View the Webcast
    + View the Teams Competing
    + More info on Botball

    July 08
    STS-135 Launch Successful
    STS-135 Patch
    Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off July 8 on the final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Atlantis carries a crew of four and the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station. The STS-135 astronauts are: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

    + Latest Space Shuttle News
    + More Info on STS-135
    + STS-135 Timeline

    July 06
    The Final Mission of the Space Shuttle
    STS-135 Patch
    Space shuttle Atlantis is set to liftoff July 8 on the final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Atlantis will carry a crew of four and the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station.

    + Latest Space Shuttle News
    + More Info on STS-135
    + STS-135 Timeline

    June 20
    Global Conference on Educational Robotics
    Botball Logo
    The 2011 Global Conference on Educational Robotics will be held at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, in Anaheim, California. The conference is intended for everyone that is interested in robotics and STEM education. The conference takes place from July 9-13, 2011 with preconference workshops beginning on July 8th.

    + More information on the Global Conference on Educational Robotics

    June 13
    2011 International MATE Competition
    MATE Logo
    The 10th Anniversary of the MATE ROV Competition will take place on June 16th, 2011 at NASA's Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston Texas. This event will be streamed starting at 12:00 CDT June 16th.

    + More Information about MATE

    June 10
    2011 NURC
    NURC Logo

    The National Underwater Robotics Challenge (NURC) begins this weekend June 10th-12 in Chandler, Arizona! Live video will begin streaming on June 11th, 2011 at 9:00PM EDT!

    + More information about NURC
    + View the Webcast

    June 03
    Opportunity Passes Small Crater and Big Milestone
    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove 482 feet (146.8 meters) on June 1, 2011, passing 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) in total odometry during 88 months of driving on Mars. That's 50 times the distance originally planned for the mission.

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was sent it's final command on May 25th, 2011. Spirit last communicated on March 22, 2010. Spirit was designed for a 3-month mission with a kilometer of traverse capacity. Spirit lasted 6 years and drove over 7.7 kilometers!

    + More information on Opportunity
    + More information on Spirit

    June 03
    Robotics Summit Virtual Conference
    Robotics Summit Logo

    The 2011 Robotics Summit Virtual Conference Series continues with the Rescue Robotics in Action. This event is a virtual conference and has special keynote speakers from QinetiQ, iRobot, Texas A&M, and NASA. This virtual conference takes place June 22, 2011 from 10AM - 5PM EDT. You must register in advance for the conference.

    + More Information and Registration

    June 03
    STS-134 Landing Successful
    STS-134 Patch
    Space shuttle Endeavour completed its final flight by delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station during the STS-134 mission. Endeavour landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after 248 orbits around Earth and a journey of 6,510,221 miles. The STS-134 mission was the 25th and final flight for Endeavour, which spent a total of 299 days in space, orbited Earth 4,671 times and traveled 122,883,151 miles.

    + STS-134 Mission Information

    May 16
    STS-134 Launch Successful
    STS-134 Patch
    Space shuttle Endeavour is officially on its way to the International Space Station on its STS-134 mission and final flight. Endeavour lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on time at 8:56 a.m. EDT, soaring through a few clouds, after a relatively smooth countdown.

    + STS-134 Mission Information
    + Latest Mission Updates

    May 02
    2011 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship
    NASA / FIRST Logos
    NASA Robotics Alliance Project would like to congratulate the 2011 FIRST FRC Championship Alliance: Team 254, Team 111, and Team 973, along with all the other award winning teams!

    + Awards List

    A NASA Ames feature article covering the 2011 FIRST Robotics competition can be found here

    April 22
    2011 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship
    NASA / FIRST Logo
    The 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship is just around the corner taking place April 27-30, 2011. The competition takes place at the America's Center in St. Louis, MO.

    + View the Webcast
    + More Information on the FRC Championship

    April 22
    STS-134 Launch
    STS-134 Patch
    STS-134 is currently scheduled to launch May 16th, 2011 at 8:56 a.m. EDT.

    During the 14-day mission, Endeavour will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre. This will be the 36th shuttle mission to the International Space Station. This is the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

    + STS-134 Mission Information
    + Latest Mission Updates

    April 15
    Hawaii BIRR Underwater Competition
    BIRR Text

    The 2011 Big Island Regional ROV Underwater Robotic Competition is being streamed live this Saturday April 16th, 2011 from 9:00AM-3:00PM (Hawaii Time). The BIRR Competition is MATE based which is mission based on a real-life situation or research program. This year the competition theme is centered around the offshore gas and oil industry.

    + Webcast
    + More info on 2011 BIRR

    April 12
    VEX Robotics World Championship Competition
    Vex logo
    The VEX Robotics World Championship Competition is just around the corner taking place this weekend April 13, 2011 - April 16, 2011 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.

    + Webcast
    + More info on the Championship
    + More info on the game

    April 12
    Space Shuttle 30th Anniversary
    Space Shuttle Program 30th
    Thirty years ago today, Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center for the very first time. In a flight that lasted 54 hours, NASA proved an amazing piece of technology. For 30 years, the best workforce in the world has launched 133 shuttle flights, dedicated to making each better than the last.

    + Shuttle Documentary (Narrated by William Shatner)
    + The Space Shuttle Era

    April 08
    Government Shut Down Information
    Due to the possibility of a Government Shut Down, please refer to NASA's official response on the NASA homepage.

    + Shut Down Information Page

    April 08
    NASA RCS 2011 Exit Survey
    2011 RCS
    Congratulations to all the teams that participated in this year's competitions. Now that the 2011 seasons are winding down, it's time for the NASA sponsored teams to complete their NASA exit survey.

    + RCS Exit Survey
    + RCS Submissions

    March 29
    2011 FRC SVR Regional
    FIRST / NASA Logo
    The 2011 FIRST Silicon Valley Regional will be broadcast on NASA TV this Friday / Saturday! This event will also be streamed on NASA TV's website in HD. NASA TV can be found on DirecTV 289 or Dish Network 212.

    + NASA RAP Stream
    + NASA TV HD
    + More Info on NASA TV

    March 24
    Globe At Night
    Globe At Night
    With half of the world’s population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristinely dark skies and maybe never will. Light pollution is obscuring people’s long-standing natural heritage to view stars. The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by encouraging everyone everywhere to measure local levels of night sky brightness and contribute observations online to a world map. All it takes is a few minutes to participate between 8-10 pm, March 22 through April 6. Your measurements will make a world of difference.

    + More Info on Globe at Night

    March 14
    Midweek FRC Israel Competition!
    We have a special treat for everyone this week! The FRC Israel Regional is taking place March 14th-16th, 2011 and is being webcast live! Please note the time distance (IST is UTC+2), so check the webcast at the correct hours.

    + Israel Regional Webcast

    March 10
    STS-133 Returns Safely
    STS-133 Patch
    Space Shuttle Discovery has made a safe return to earth on March 9th, 2011 at 11:57a.m. EST. STS-133 mission lasted 12 days, 19 hours, 3 minutes, and 53 seconds. During that time they traveled more than 5.3 million miles! During space shuttle Discovery's final spaceflight, the STS-133 crew members delivered important space parts to the International Space Station along with the Express Logistics Carrier-4.

    + More Info on STS-133
    + More Info on Robonaut 2

    March 07
    CREATE Logo
    The U.S. National VEX Robotics Championship in Omaha Nebraska, March 11th and 12th. Team from across the United States will compete in head-to-head robotics competitions across five divisions. From K-12th grade teams take on various robotics challenges for the right to be crowned National Champions. For more information visit the the U.S. National VEX Robotics home page.

    Watch the live webcast here.

    February 25
    2011 FRC Regional Webcasts!
    The 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Events are in full swing! This is sixth and final week of the regional's!

    + Regional Competition Webcast List
    + Logomotion Game Animation
    + Robot Design Video (Part 1) - Revised Content 02/25/11
    + Kickoff - Archive of NASA TV broadcast

    February 25
    STS-133 Successful Launch
    STS-133 Patch
    STS-133 was successfully launched at 4:53:24PM EST on February 24, 2011 from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A. The mission is being flown by Space Shuttle Discovery on it's last mission. The mission duration is 11 days.

    Aboard Discovery is Robonaut 2 (R2), a collaboration between GM and NASA. R2 is the first humanoid robot in space. R2's primary job for now is to teach engineers how dexterous robots behave in space.

    + More Info on STS-133
    + More Info on Robonaut 2

    February 15
    MAINTENANCE NOTICE will be temporarily offline Wednesday, February 15 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm to perform server maintenance. There is also a planned outage for the weekend of February 19-21, where will be available but some of the features on the site will not.

    February 04
    Robonaut 2 Television Debut!
    Robonaut 2
    The worlds first humanoid robot to fly into space, Robonaut 2, will be making it's television debut on Super Bowl Sunday! Millions of viewers will be able to watch the state-of-the-art robot during a General Motors segment to air during the Super Bowl pre-game show on the Fox Network.

    Robonaut 2 was developed and built by NASA and General Motors. Using leading edge control, sensor, and vision technologies it is capable of working side-by-side with people. Robonaut 2 will be launched into space on mission STS-133 which launches on February 24, 2011.

    + More Info on Television Debut
    + Robonaut 2 Fact Sheet
    + More Info on Robonaut 2

    January 21
    NASA Knights Highlighted
    NASA Meatball
    FRC Team 122 The NASA Knights were highlighted this past week on "This Week @ NASA". The feature includes a brief description of the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition game.

    + This Week @ NASA Information
    + Watch This Week @ NASA Video

    January 14
    2011 VEX Grant Awards
    VEX logo
    The long awaited VEX robotics competition grant awards are now available. Congratulations to the winners and RAP hopes that all participants have a great 2011 competition season.

    + Awards List
    + More info about VEX

    January 14
    2011 Botball Grant Awards
    Botball Robot
    The long awaited Botball robotics competition grant awards list is now available. Congratulations to the winners and RAP hopes that all participants have a great 2011 competition season.

    + Awards List
    + More info about Botball

    January 07
    JPL Robotics
    JPL Robotics
    This is the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Robotics Program website. They feature descriptions of the activities that take place at JPL as well as related robotics projects.

    + More Info on JPL Robotics

    January 07
    First Humanoid To Fly In Space
    Robonaut 2
    The humanoid robot named Robonaut 2 developed at NASA's Ames Research Center is expected to launch on February 24, 2011 aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle. This is the first time a humanoid robot has ever flown into space!

    + More Information on Robonaut 2

    January 04
    2011 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff
    FIRST / NASA Logo
    The 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition Kick off took place on January 8th, 2011 at 10:30AM EST. Archived content is available by following the links below.
    + Game Animation
    + Robot Design Video
    + Kickoff - Archive of NASA TV broadcast

    FirstGov NASA
    Curator: Drew Price
    NASA Official: Lucien Junkin
    Last Updated: April 28, 2020
    + Contact Us