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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.

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


December 08
Reinventing the Wheel
New Tire


Exploration requires mobility. And whether you're on Earth or as far away as the Moon or Mars, you need good tires to get your vehicle from one place to another. Tire development for space exploration has been a focus of research at NASA Glenn for a decade. Evolving since the days of Apollo, NASA engineers started examining tire designs back in the 1960's for use on the surface of the Moon.

+ More Information

December 01
FLL & FTC West Virginia State Tournament Webcast
NASA meatball & FIRST Lego League Hydro-Dynamics Logo & FIRST Tech Challenge Relic Recover Logo

West Virginia FIRST LEGO League (FLL) State Tournament will take place on Saturday, December 2, 8:30-5:30 pm EST and West Virginia FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Tournament on Sunday, December 3, 8:30-5:30 pm EST at Falcon Center, Fairmont State University, 1201 Locust Ave, Fairmont, WV 26554. Can't make the event, you can view the live webcast and table scores at:

+ FLL Table Scores
+ Webcast
+ Backup Webcast
+ West Virginia Robotics Alliance
+ FIRST Robotics

November 29
NASA Builds its Next Mars Rover Mission

In just a few years, NASA's next Mars rover mission will be flying to the Red Planet. At a glance, it looks a lot like its predecessor, the Curiosity Mars rover. But there's no doubt it's a souped-up science machine: It has seven new instruments, redesigned wheels and more autonomy. A drill will capture rock cores, while a caching system with a miniature robotic arm will seal up these samples. Then, they'll be deposited on the Martian surface for possible pickup by a future mission.

+ More information

November 22
FIRST Robotics Competition Grant Awards
NASA meatball logo & FIRST FRC Logo

The highly anticipated moment that all you FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams that submitted an application for a NASA FRC grant, has finally arrived! NASA's award selection is listed in the following link. If your FRC team submitted an application for a NASA FRC registration grant, please review the awards list to verify your award status.

+ NASA FRC Awards List

November 18
2018 NASA FRC Grant Announcement Status Update
NASA logo and FIRST Robotics Competition logo

NASA is diligently working through the application review process and will make an announcement as soon as possible. We know that you are all anxiously awaiting the results of the 2018 NASA FIRST Robotics Competition grant award selections and we will post them as soon as they are finalized. Thank you for your patients and understanding in this time sensitive situation - NASA RAP (Robotics Alliance Project)

November 01
Martian Ridge Brings Out Rover's Color Talents
Rover Color


Color-discerning capabilities that NASA's Curiosity rover has been using on Mars since 2012 are proving particularly helpful on a mountainside ridge the rover is now climbing. These capabilities go beyond the thousands of full-color images Curiosity takes every year: The rover can look at Mars with special filters helpful for identifying some minerals, and also with a spectrometer that sorts light into thousands of wavelengths, extending beyond visible-light colors into infrared and ultraviolet. These observations aid decisions about where to drive and investigations of chosen targets.

+ More Information

October 27
Mars Rover Mission Progresses Toward Resumed Drilling

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity team is working to restore Curiosity's sample-drilling capability using new techniques. The latest development is a preparatory test on Mars. The five-year-old mission is still several months from the soonest possible resumption of drilling into Martian rocks. Managers are enthusiastic about successful Earth-based tests of techniques to work around a mechanical problem that appeared late last year and suspended use of the rover's drill.

+ More Information

October 02
Large Solar Storm Sparks Global Aurora and Doubles Radiation Levels on the Martian Surface
Mars Solar Storm

An unexpectedly strong blast from the Sun hit Mars this month, observed by NASA missions in orbit and on the surface.

September 27
A Clockwork Rover for Venus
Automation Rover for Extreme Enviroments

The Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments (AREE), an exciting concept which enables long duration in-situ mobility on the surface of Venus through robust mechanisms. An automaton is a mechanical device capable of performing a series of complex actions to achieve a specific result.

+ More Information

September 15
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Climbing Toward Ridge Top
Vera Rubin Ridge

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has begun the steep ascent of an iron-oxide-bearing ridge that's grabbed scientists' attention since before the car-sized rover's 2012 landing.

+ More Information

September 13
Chezy Champs "Best in the West" Robotics Competition
CC Chezy Champs Logo
Chezy Champs is an annual off-season FIRST robotics tournament hosted by FIRST Team 254. The forth annual Chezy Champs tournament takes place Saturday - Sunday, September 16-17, at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California. 43 teams will come together in San Jose to battle it out to determine the best in the west.

Can't make the event, checkout the webcast link at the bottom of the "More Info" webpage.

+ More Info

September 02
NASA's FIRST Robotics Competition Sponsorship
NASA Logo & FIRST Robotics Logo

The NASA FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Registration Sponsorship application system for the 2018 FRC season is now closed.

+ Information about FRC

August 10
Watch Martian Clouds Scoot, Thanks to NASA's Curiosity
Martian Clouds

Wispy, early-season clouds resembling Earth's ice-crystal cirrus clouds move across the Martian sky in some new image sequences from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.

+ More Information

August 04
Curiosity's First Five Years of Science on Mars
Curiosity's First Five Years of Science on Mars

August 04
NASA Prepares for August 21 Total Solar Eclipse

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental US, and NASA is preparing to share this experience of a lifetime.

+ More Information

August 02
Five Years Ago and 154 Million Miles Away: Touchdown!

On Aug. 5, 2012, the mission team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, exalted at radio confirmation and first images from Curiosity after the rover's touchdown using a new "sky crane" landing method. Transmissions at the speed of light took nearly 14 minutes to travel from Mars to Earth, which that day were about 154 million miles (248 million kilometers) apart

Watch some of the amazing footage of the 5 years of Curiosity in the link below!

+ More Information

July 20
2017 FIRST Festival of Champions
FIRST Robotics Competition Festival of Champions Logo


"The FIRST Festival of Champions will take place where it all began, in New Hampshire (where the inaugural FIRST competition was held over 25 years ago). We'll celebrate the FIRST Class of Champions 2017 and enjoy robot action from winning FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST® Robotics Competition Alliances from FIRST Championship 2017 events in Houston and St. Louis."

The FIRST Festival of Champions will take place on Saturday, July 29

Can't make the event in person, check out the webcast link below

+ Event Info
+ Webcast

July 14
Curiosity Mars Rover Begins Study of Ridge Destination
Mount Sharp

The car-size NASA rover on a Martian mountain, Curiosity, has begun its long-anticipated study of an iron-bearing ridge forming a distinctive layer on the mountain's slope.

+ Full Article

July 14
NASA's Robotics Alliance Project is at STEM QUEST at the the 2017 National Scout Jamboree

NASA's RAP has partnered with FIRST to introduce over 1,000 scouts to the Robotics Merit Badge, through hands-on classes at the STEM Quest activity area during the 2017 National Jamboree in West Virginia. The NASA IV&V Facility Educator Resource Center staff, along with FIRST AmeriCorps VISTAs and FIRST Senior Mentors will also be showcasing Robonaut, Spiderbot, and comparing Lunar and Martian wheels just to name a few activities in their tent. Scouts who stop by the NASA Robotics tent will be able to get their own Infrared photograph, pose with Centaur, drive an FTC or FRC robot, compete in robotics sumo wrestling, or attended the merit-badge class which is the only way to earn this extremely limited commemorative patch. Scouts will be introduced to all four FIRST programs and learn how to start a team and discover how the agency supports competitive robotics throughout the country. The Goddard Space Flight Center's Mobile Machine Shop will be giving tours, and engineers from Wallops Island, GSFC, IV&V, and GRC will be engaging the scouts in a range of activities beyond robotics including solar observing, rocket launching, and more.

+ Learn More about the 2017 Jamobree
+ Learn more about FIRST

+ Agency Contact

July 07
2017 Mountain State Invitational Webcast
Mountain State Invitational Logo

The WV Robotics Alliance, Fairmont State University, and the WV High Technology Foundation are hosting the FIRST LEGO League Mountain State Invitational on July 7-9 in Fairmont, WV.

40 of the best FIRST LEGO League teams from the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Uruguay will compete in a standard FIRST LEGO League tournament. In addition to their competition schedules, teams will be able to meet-and-greet their fellow competitors at an ice cream social, a STEM Carnival, and the Alliance Challenge.

Can't make the event in person, check out the live webcast in the links below.

+ Webcast
+ Event Info

June 27
Mars Rover Opportunity on Walkabout Near Rim
Mars Rover PCAM

NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for signs that they may have been either transported by a flood or eroded in place by wind.

+ Full Article

June 23
International MATE ROV Competition
MATE website logo

The 2017 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) competition highlights the role that ROVs will play in streamlining commerce, maintaining entertainment, and ensuring both health and safety of port cities of the future.

The 16th annual MATE international ROV competition will take place June 23-25, 2017 at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California, USA.

NASA RAP & MATE will be streaming the event live during the competition! Check the links below for the web stream.

+ Webcast
+ Competition Details

June 09
NASA Finds Evidence of Diverse Environments in Curiosity Samples
Curiosity Mars rover mudstone outcrop area called

NASA scientist have found evidence from the initial samples of rocks collected by the Curiosity rover that suggest there was changes in conditions in the water environments over time.

+ Full Article

May 15
2017 Global Conference on Educational Robotics (GCER)
Botball robot logo

The 2017 Global Conference on Educational Robotics (GCER) will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, Norman Hotel & Conference Center located in Norman, Oklahoma. The conference is intended for anyone that is interested in robotics and STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) education. The conference takes place from July 8th - 12th, 2017 with pre-conference workshops beginning on July 7th. The last day to register online is Friday, June 24th!

+ More Information
+ Events
+ Schedule
+ Registration

May 05
VEX 2017-2018 Challenge

VEX announced their new challenge for the 2017-2018 season "In The Zone" where two team alliances face off to stack cones on goals and moving the mobile goals to score more points!

May 04
NASA Computing Challange
High-Performance Fast Computing Challange slide

Do you, or someone you know, know how to program computers? NASA has a challenging assignment for you.

+ More Info

May 02
2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship
NASA Meatball Logo and FIRST Robotics Competition Logo

Now that the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) St. Louis and Houston Championships are over and FRC Teams look forward to the FIRST Festival of Champions on July 28-29, 2017 you can check out the results and rankings in the links below. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 2017 FRC season!!

+ Competition Results
+ Festival of Champions Info

+ Exit Survey
+ Exit Survey Submissions

April 24
2017 FIRST Robotics St. Louis Championship
NASA Meatball Logo and FIRST Robotics Competition Logo
The FIRST Robotics St. Louis Championship takes place April 26-29, 2017 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis! This event brings together teams from around the world to compete in one of the largest robotics competitions.

For those that cannot make it to the event, you can check out the webcasts in the links below.

+ Webcasts
+ Spectator Schedule
+ Event Details

+ Exit Survey
+ Survey Submissions

April 18
2017 FIRST Robotics Houston Championship
NASA Spidernaut and Centaur exhibit at FRC Innovation Faire Houston, TX

The 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Houston Championship is taking place on April 19th-22nd, in Houston, TX. Attending the Championship in person, check out the NASA exhibit at the FIRST Innovation Faire. NASA will be exhibiting two very exciting robots, Spidernaut and Centaur.

+ FIRST Innovation Faire
+ FRC Championship Info.
+ Spidernaut Info.
+ Centaur Info

March 21
Origami-inspired Robot Can Hitch a Ride with a Rover
PUFFER (2 wheeled micro rover) was outfitted for field testing in snow during a recent trip to Antarctica's Mt. Erebus.

The next rovers to explore another planet might bring along a scout.

+ Full Article

February 28
2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Webcasts
NASA Meatball Logo and FIRST Robotics Competition Logo

The 2017 FIRST Robotics Regional Competitions are finally upon us! Are you ready? Check out our compilation of webcasts in the link below! Webcasts will be linked as they become available.

+ Regional Webcast List
+ Game Animation, Kickoff, Field Walk-through

+ NASA FRC Team Awards List
+ FIRST Robotics

January 08
2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff
NASA Logo & FIRST Robotics Competition Logo
The 2017 kickoff marks the beginning of the design and build season for the FIRST Robotics Competition. Teams have the opportunity to meet at "local" Kickoffs to compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kit of Parts, and get geared up for the exciting competition season. The 2017 Kickoff took place on Saturday January 7th, 2017.

+ Kickoff Details
+ Archived Kickoff
+ Field Walk-Through
+ Game Animation

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