NASA meatball logo National Aeronautics and Space Administration Click here to skip to the main content + NASA Home Page
Robotics Alliance Project Banner
×The information on this page is no longer updated and is available for archival information. Please visit our new website at:

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.

| 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 |


November 23
NASA FRC Sponsorship Winners
The 2013 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.

+ View the 2013 Winners
+ Complete the Entrance Survey
+ Entrance Survey Submission Results

November 21
NASA's FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship Update
Due to the devastating consequences of Hurricane Sandy, NASA has delayed the announcements of the winners of the 2013 FIRST Robotic Competition Grants. The winners will now be announced prior to the end of November.

The letters of support are still due by November 23, 2012, 18:00:00 PST.

October 24
NASA's FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship Application Closed
The 2013 NASA FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship application system is now closed. Thanks to all those that applied. The winners will be announced no later than November 21st, 2012.

Letters of Support are due November 23, 2012, 18:00:00 PST.

+ Application Directions

September 27
Curiosity Finds Old Streambed
Remnants of ancient streambed on Mars NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence -- images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels -- is the first of its kind.

"From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep," said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. "Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we're actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it."

+ More Info on Streambed
+ More Info on Curiosity

September 13
NASA's FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship Application Info
The moment you all have been waiting for... The 2013 NASA FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship application system is now available.

+Application Directions and Account Registration

August 06
First Images from Curiosity
Curiosity's First High Resolution Image
About two hours after landing on Mars and beaming back its first image, NASA's Curiosity rover transmitted a higher-resolution image of its new Martian home, Gale Crater. Mission Control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., received the image, taken by one of the vehicle's lower-fidelity, black-and-white Hazard Avoidance Cameras - or Hazcams.

While the image is twice as big in pixel size as the first images beamed down from the rover, they are only half the size of full-resolution Hazcam images. During future mission operations, these images will be used by the mission's navigators and rover drivers to help plan the vehicle's next drive. Other cameras aboard Curiosity, with color capability and much higher resolution, are expected to be sent back to Earth over the next several days.

+ View the Full Size Image
+ More Info on Mars Image
+ More Info on Curiosity

August 06
Curiosity Successful Landing
Curiosity Landed
NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.

Curiosity landed at 10:32 p.m. Aug. 5, PDT, (1:32 a.m. EDT Aug. 6) near the foot of a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter inside Gale Crater. During a nearly two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.

+ More Info on Landing
+ More Info on Curiosity

August 04
MSL Right on Course
With less than three days to go before touchdown on the Red Planet, Curiosity remains in good health, with all systems operating as expected. Given the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft's consistent and stable course, today the project decided that the planned Trajectory Correction Maneuver 5 (TCM-5) and its corresponding update to parameters for the autonomous software controlling events during entry, descent and landing will not be necessary. As of 12:35 p.m. today PDT (3:35 p.m. EDT), the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was approximately 468,000 miles (753,200 kilometers) from Mars, or a little less than twice the distance from Earth to the moon. It is traveling at about 8,000 mph (3,576 meters per second). It will gradually increase in speed to about 13,200 mph (5,900 meters per second) by the time it reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere.

+ More Info on Curosity Cam
+ More Info on MSL

July 17
Mars Rover Landing
Curiosity Rover Game
Try your own skills in facing the extreme challenges of landing a rover on Mars! This experience uses the Kinect motion sensor on the Xbox 360, Microsoft's home entertainment console. Mars Rover Landing is freely available in the Xbox Live Marketplace and Kinect Central.

+ More Info on Mars Rover Landing
+ More Info on Curiosity

July 17
Curiosity Nearing Landing Site
Curiosity Landing Site
NASA's most advanced planetary rover is on a precise course for an early August landing beside a Martian mountain to begin two years of unprecedented scientific detective work. The area where NASA's Curiosity rover will land on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT) has a geological diversity that scientists are eager to investigate, as seen in this false-color map based on data from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.Curiosity is scheduled to land at approximately 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6).

+ More Info on Landing Site
+ More Info on Curiosity

June 22
Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

+ More Info on Curiosity

June 21
2012 MATE International Competition
The 11th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) will take place this June 21-23, 2012 at the YMCA Aquatic & Family Center in Orlando, Florida. The event is being streamed live!

+ More Info On The Competition and Stream
+ More Info On MATE

June 15
Mars Rover Team Aiming for Science Site
Aiming for Science Site
NASA has narrowed the target for its most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, which will land on the Red Planet in August. The car-sized rover will arrive closer to its ultimate destination for science operations, but also closer to the foot of a mountain slope that poses a landing hazard.
"We're trimming the distance we'll have to drive after landing by almost half," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "That could get us to the mountain months earlier."
It was possible to adjust landing plans because of increased confidence in precision landing technology aboard the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, which is carrying the Curiosity rover. That spacecraft can aim closer without hitting Mount Sharp at the center of Gale crater. Rock layers located in the mountain are the prime location for research with the rover.
Curiosity is scheduled to land at approximately 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6). Following checkout operations, Curiosity will begin a two-year study of whether the landing vicinity ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life.

+ More Information
+ More Information on Curiosity

June 15
Dark Shadows on Mars
Dark Shadows on Mars Image
Like a tourist waiting for just the right lighting to snap a favorite shot during a stay at the Grand Canyon, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has used a low sun angle for a memorable view of a large Martian crater.
The resulting view catches a shadow of the rover in the foreground and the giant basin in the distance. Opportunity is perched on the western rim of Endeavour Crater looking eastward. The crater spans about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. Opportunity has been studying the edge of Endeavour Crater since arriving there in August 2011.
The scene is presented in false color to emphasize differences in materials such as dark dunes on the crater floor. This gives portions of the image an aqua tint.

+ More Information
+ More Information on MER

May 03
Paydirt at 8-Year-Old Mars Rover's 'New Landing Site'
Mineral Vein Homestake
Opportunity completed its original three-month mission on Mars eight years ago. It reached Endeavour last summer, three years after the rover's science team chose Endeavour as a long-term destination. This crater is about 4 billion years old and 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.

The impact that excavated the crater left a jumble of fused-together rock fragments around the rim. In a chunk brought to the surface by a later, much smaller impact into the rim, Opportunity found evidence that the original impact released heated, underground water that deposited zinc in that rock. Later after the impact, cool water flowed through cracks in the ground near the edge of the crater and deposited veins of the mineral gypsum.

+ More Information

April 19
2012 VEX Robotics World Championship
VEX logo
The VEX Robotics World Championship is a gathering of top robotics teams from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with/against the best of the best. The 2012 VEX Robotics World Championship will include top teams from over 230 VEX Robotics Competition tournaments happening in cities around the world from May 2011 to March 2012. Teams will play the game Gateway for the 2011-2012 season. Can't make the event, watch live webcasts of the competition

+ Event Information
+ Webcast - Spirit Division
+ Webcast - Opportunity Division
+ Webcast - Technology Field
+ Webcast - Math Field
+ Webcast - Science Field
+ Webcast - Engineering Field
+ Webcast - College Level

April 19
2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship
NASA Logo and FIRST Logo
The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship is finally here! The Championship competition is taking place on April 26-28, 2012 from the America's Center (Edward Jones Dome) in St. Louis, MO. Can't make it in person, check out the live webcasts or the NASA TV education channel.

+ Webcast
+ NASA TV Schedule
+ Spectator Schedule
+ More Info

April 10
FRC District Championships
The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Events are now over! We have reached the point of our District Championships. The Michigan FRC State Championship & Mid-Atlantic Robotics FRC Championship are taking place this weekend! Just around the corner is the FIRST Championship!

If your team received a NASA Grant this year, please complete the exit surveys so that you are eligible for a grant in the future!
+ Exit Survey
+ Exit Survey Submissions

+ Regional Webcast List
+ Game Animation
+ Kickoff Archive
+ Competition Court Walkthrough

April 03

The annual FIRST Robotics competition is in full swing with some 60-thousand high school students competing in regional challenges using robots they built in six weeks from a common kit of parts. NASA is the largest sponsor of the national FIRST program, supporting five regional competitions and more than 280 teams. Since January, high school FIRST Robotics teams across the country have worked tirelessly to build, program and test robots in preparation for this year's challenge called Rebound Rumble.

March 16
MATE ROV Regional Webcast
The 2012 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV Competition is underway! We will have a webcast available for the 2012 Wisconsin Regional Competition this weekend! The webcast will run on March 18th, 2012 from 8:00AM - 3:00PM.

+ View the Webcast
+ More Info on Regional Website
+ More Info on MATE ROV

March 01
2012 FRC Regional Webcasts!
The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Events are here! We are at week 6, the final week of regional competitions! Championships are just around the corner!

+ Exit Survey
+ Exit Survey Submissions

+ Regional Webcast List
+ Game Animation
+ Kickoff Archive
+ Competition Court Walkthrough

January 23
U.S. National VEX Robotics Championship
This year CREATE's signature event will be held on March 15-17, in Omaha at the The Salvation Army Kroc Center in its 122,000 square-foot, world class, state-of-the-art facility. Teams from across the United States will be invited to participate in a unique event that spans all ages with three different games played in five separate tournaments. Can't make the event, check out the webcast(link will be posted shortly).

+ Webcast
+ CREATE foundation
+ Event Information

January 19
2012 Botball season
Botball Robot Logo
The 2012 Botball season has officially started.

Botball is expanding in various ways this season: A new Facebook registration - Botball Educational Robotics Program; A new website, Botball Community, social network for current and former Botball participants, New regional venues in Denver, Tucson, and Chicago, as well as in Austria and Qatar.

For 2012 team registration, as well as the schedules and regional venues, educator resources - software - the latest twitter, and sign-up for the newsletter, or to see video archives of past games, check the main Botball website.

+ Botball Website
+ Latest Website Info

January 11
MSL Faces Trajectory Maneuver
MSL Trajectory
An engine firing on Jan. 11 will be the biggest maneuver that NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft will perform on its flight between Earth and Mars.

The action will use a choreographed sequence of firings of eight thruster engines during a period of about 175 minutes beginning at 3 p.m. PST (6 p.m. EST or 2300 Universal Time). It will redirect the spacecraft more precisely toward Mars to land at Gale Crater. The trajectory resulting from the mission's Nov. 26, 2011, launch intentionally misses Mars to prevent the upper stage of the launch vehicle from hitting the planet. That upper stage was not cleaned the way the spacecraft itself was to protect Mars from Earth's microbes.

The maneuver is designed to impart a velocity change of about 12.3 miles per hour (5.5 meters per second).

+ More Info on Trajectory Maneuver
+ More Info on MSL

January 07
2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff
FIRST Logo NASA Meatball
The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Kick off took place on January 7th, 2012 at 10:30AM EST. Archived content is available by following the link below.

+ Game Animation
+ Kickoff Archive
+ Field Walkthrough

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