Activities

Buckle up

Your STEMnaut adventure begins here – and could end on May 31, 2017, with you winning the grand prize.

Each week, NASA and Texas Instruments will post questions, riddles and brainteasers for you to figure out using the coding and STEM* problem-solving processes that make human life in space possible. Correct answers are worth anywhere from one to 25 points and you can attempt each answer as many times as you like in accordance with the contest rules. Use the mission patches below to navigate each set of challenges.


Use the free TI Connect™ CE software application to download and install contest programs on calculators. Download.


Use TI-SmartView™ Emulator Software for the TI-84 Plus graphing family to run contest programs. Requires adult sponsor to download free 90-day trial.

Mission Status Board

  1. 1. THS- live free Pi hard - 458
  2. 2. Iris - 455
  3. 2. Sea And Sun - 455
  4. 4. The Can I Call It A Day Q - 450
  5. 5. Sylvania Northview High S - 445
  6. 6. Skunkworks - 433
  7. 7. Changemakers - 428
  8. 8. There is Unintelligent Li - 425
  9. 8. Pi-oneers - 425
  10. 10. THS- Spaghettinauts - 415
View all

STAGE 1: International Space Station (ISS)

The ISS supports a wide range of scientific inquiry. Enter the laboratory.

Breathing Easy IS Simple (4 points)0

Welcome to your Breathing Easy IS Simple (4 points)

Breathe in, breathe out
It’s important! No doubt!
From water to oxygen
It repeats again and again
Oh Gee Ess
Air is the best!
But how is it done on this celestial abode?
To find out, you must run the code!




Hint: One word answer


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Space Station Training Mixup (5 points)0

Welcome to your Space Station Training Mixup (5 points)



Jeannette Epps was so excited. She just learned she would be a crew member on the space station for Expedition 56/57 beginning in 2018. She fired off a quick email to one of her astronaut friends, Scott Tingle, to let him know. In her excitement, the last two words of her email got mixed up. Where is she going?


Hi Scott,
I’m off to the space station in 2018! I guess it is time to buy winter clothes for training in Dyst Voyu!





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A Giant Jigsaw Puzzle (20 points)0

Welcome to your A Giant Jigsaw Puzzle (20 points)




The International Space Station is a massive orbiting science laboratory that spans the length of a football field. Countries from around the world submit experiments to be tested on the ISS.


But how did ISS come to be? How was it created? The answer: piece by piece. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle in space, ISS was built over many years with the help of several countries and space agencies.




So, now it’s your turn. Unravel a sequence of clues and hints and misdirects as you learn about specific missions involved in the idea, design, construction and operation of the International Space Station. Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator, and opening “ISSPUZZL” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip






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Attention From Orbit (1 point)0

Welcome to your Attention From Orbit (1 point)


Former captain of the West Point baseball team AND an astronaut? This ISS commander found time while in orbit to record a video announcing the Search for STEMnauts contest.

Enter their first and last name to earn this point.


 




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World Cup Spectator (15 points)0

Welcome to your World Cup Spectator (15 points)



Two American members of International Space Station Expedition 40 crew — NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson — made a friendly wager with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of Germany:

If Team USA beat Germany in the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, then Reid and Steve would paint the American flag on Alexander's bald head. If Germany won, the Americans would shave their heads.

The Americans lost the bet, but still won accolades from soccer fans around the world with their series of spectacular photographs of the cup venues.

Decipher this message they posted when asked if they were outside the space station when they took the photos:

#-@!-!^-!%-!@-!


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Social Cipher (12 points)0

Welcome to your Social Cipher (12 points)

NASA and TI love sharing fun, interesting photos on social media – especially when they announced the Search for STEMnauts contest on April 19, 2017.

Some images on their feeds require more than just a quick glance to really understand what they communicate. Some even require decrypting!


This won’t earn you points, but here’s a hint for unlocking the hidden message.
The name of this contest is: 19, 5, 1, 18, 3, 8, 6, 15, 18, 19, 20, 5, 13, 14, 1, 21, 20, 19

Follow TICalculators on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more fun!



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How to Flee Orbital Debris (15 points)0

Welcome to your How to Flee Orbital Debris (15 points)

Orbital debris is all of the non-functional parts and pieces from past space missions and collisions that have occurred over the many decades of space exploration from many countries. It includes about 20,000 objects that are larger than a softball, and about half a million objects smaller than a softball. Fortunately all of these objects can be tracked at all times. Because of the relative velocities between the ISS and some of this debris, it is possible that an object could hit the ISS and cause a loss of pressure and life support systems. There are procedures that are followed if such an event is predicted. The first approach is to avoid the collision by changing the relative location of ISS using the Russian thrusters. It takes about 30 hours to coordinate such a move, called a Debris Avoidance Maneuver. The protocol requires a safe zone around the ISS of 30 miles wide by 30 miles long by 1 mile high. It is affectionately known as the “Pizza Box.” If the probability of collision is greater than 1 in 10,000, a maneuver will be conducted unless it will result in additional risk to the crew. If that isn’t possible, the residents onboard ISS are instructed to move to the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in case a collision harms the ISS. This way, the astronauts can be returned safely to Earth if things go wrong.


Your challenge is to run a program called, “PIZZABOX” and determine what course of action is required.

Download PIZZABOX.8xp

 


 


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Going the Distance (10 points)0

Welcome to your Going the Distance (10 points)

Astronauts in space must exercise at least two hours a day to keep their bones and muscles healthy. Some astronauts, though, take it a step further. Can you decipher the coded message that astronaut Suni Williams sent to let folks know what she did while she was on the space station?

Use the clue at this link and the coded message (below) to solve the puzzle.
{(1, 9), (4, 4), (9, 7), (2, 3), (8, 1), (14, 9), (10, 6), (16, 1)}


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STAGE 2: Down to Earth

The view from space is amazing.

Take my breath away (5 points)0

Welcome to your Take my breath away (5 points)

Run the TI-Basic code on your TI-84 Plus CE and use the hint to identify the number of this very special building at NASA Johnson Space Center that will literally take your breath away


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Diving into the deep blue to explore the red planet (15 points)0

Welcome to your Diving into the deep blue to explore the red planet (15 points)

NASA uses extreme environments on our own planet to learn about extreme environments on other planets. Training in the Aquarius undersea habitat, for instance, and on the ocean floor surrounding it enables astronauts to prepare for possible conditions and contingencies at a Mars base.

The 16-day mission pictured here happened last year with an international crew, who made simulated space walks along the ocean floor collecting samples for marine biology and geology studies. Problem solving under extreme conditions is one of the purposes for these training missions.

Your task is to answer questions using the TI-Basic program called, “NEEMO” on your TI-84 Plus CE. So get ready to dive deep and solve these puzzles.

Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator and opening “NEEMO” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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Where are the Whales (2 points)0

Welcome to your Where are the Whales (2 points)

NASA uses satellite data to predict the occurrence of whales off the west coast of the United States and prevent collisions with ships.

What is the name of the online tool that helps reduce whale mortality from collisions with shipping and fishing gear?

Follow @NASAEarth and check out this post to learn more.

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Message Saved to the Cloud (25 points)0

Welcome to your Message Saved to the Cloud (25 points)

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson has spent over 188 days in space. As a crew member for Expedition 23/24 aboard the International Space Station in 2011, she observed cloud formations for NASA’s “Students' Cloud Observations On-Line” project. When asked by a student, "How can you determine the height of clouds from space?", she logged on to her laptop and replied:

01110011011101010110111001110011011001010111010001110011001
00000011011010110000101101011011001010010000001110100011010
00011001010111001101100101001000000111011001101001011100110
11010010110001001101100011001010010000001100010011001010110
10000110100101101110011001000010000001110100011010000110010
10010000001100011011011000110111101110101011001000111001100
00110100001010

"Oh no!" she said. "My computer converted my hint into 1s and 0s!"

Download and use the TI-Basic Program to convert the computer error back to the correct letters and use her hint to help find the one-word answer.


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The Four Elements (4 points)0

Welcome to your The Four Elements (4 points)

Terra is one of NASA’s remote sensing satellites that incorporate the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensing system. Run the TI-Basic program on your TI-84 Plus CE to get a hint about the name of this storm that the MODIS system aboard Terra photographed.

Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator and opening “CYCLONE” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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Protein Science (10 points)0

Welcome to your Protein Science (10 points)

The International Space Station (ISS) is an orbiting laboratory where work in all science fields is conducted. Research in genetics and molecular biology have given scientists a new look into the biological effects of microgravity, such as variations that were found in astronaut Scott Kelly’s genetic code after spending a year on the ISS. Other research being published includes astronaut Kate Rubins’ experiment to sequence DNA in space for the first time. Now, see if you can transcribe and translate these DNA strands to RNA, and then to a simple protein. Use the first letter for each amino acid to spell out the answer to this challenge.

DNA Strand 1 GTT-ATA-TAC-GCA-CTT-AGC
DNA Strand 2 CAA-TAT-ATG-CGT-GAA-TCG
mRNA codons____-____-____-____-_____-____
Amino Acid _________-__________-_________-__________-_________-_________

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Don't chill in Kuril (4 points)0

Welcome to your Don't chill in Kuril (4 points)

A cosmonaut’s view of home:
An angry dome.
It’s hot and loud!
A giant cloud.
Molten rock flows.
Now run the code.
Come on! Give it try!
Who am I?

Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator and opening “VOLCANO” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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STAGE 3: Deep Space Patrol

Your one-week mission is to explore strange new riddles.

And Beyond (12 points)0

Welcome to your And Beyond (12 points)

11011 1010 1 11000 100001 1111 1011 10111 10111 1011 10001
10000 100001 11011 1 10111 100001 110 1011 10110 10111
11000 100001 11000 10001 100001 1011 10000 11000 101 10110
10111 11000 101 1110 1110 1 10110 100001 10111 10100 1 11 101


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The Only Rex That Likes Asteroids (7 points)0

Welcome to your The Only Rex That Likes Asteroids (7 points)

The Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is currently traveling to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu. It will bring at least a 2-ounce sample of the asteroid back to Earth for study. The mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth. Future space exploration and economic development may rely on the materials found on asteroids such as Bennu.

The Visible and Infrared Spectrometer tool on OSIRIS-REx is specifically looking for molecules on the asteroid that ...

prgm 7 log 4 math x² log 0 prgm math x apps 7 log

What do we call those molecules? Crack the code to finish the clue. Discover what NASA scientists look for when exploring these "rocks" in the solar system.


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Let's Eat (7 points)0

Welcome to your Let's Eat (7 points)

To succeed on missions deep into space, astronauts will need to grow their own food. These autonomous gardens will be essential for the survival of the crew as they travel through the solar system and beyond. When asked what foods from Earth he missed while up on the International Space Station, Shane Kimbrough said, “I miss eating crunchy things. We only have one crunchy thing to eat up here and that is ….” He paused because he realized his crewmates might overhear him. He didn’t want the delicious food to be all gone by the time he got back to the service module. He decided to write a coded message to the students to answer their question.

QEB ZORKZEV CLLA F IFHB FP X MIXKQ QEXQ F DOLT

Shane knew these students were smart enough to crack the code because they went to the Lovett School, his alma mater.


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Pale Blue Dot (5 points)0

Welcome to your Pale Blue Dot (5 points)

The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes were launched in 1977. Astronomers and NASA scientists, at the time, were learning much about the physical laws that govern the universe. The Voyagers were meant to explore our solar system and beyond, as well as serve as Earth’s ambassadors in the event of an encounter with intelligent civilizations.

Today, Voyager 1 is in the Interstellar Medium (ISM), an area that exists beyond our solar system – the space between stars. The Voyager spacecrafts have been reporting data back for the last 40 years.

Located on the surface of each Voyager probe are golden records with information about Earth. These records include sounds and images, as well as symbols that explain how to operate them if they make their way to an intelligent civilization.

A popular scientist chaired the committee for deciding what would go on these records. Research this famous scientist and enter his last name into the program called “BILLIONS”. If you get the correct answer on the TI-Basic program, you will be treated to an image of Voyager 1 and the next clue.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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Overcoming Safe Mode (25 points)0

Welcome to your Overcoming Safe Mode (25 points)

NASA’s Juno's mission is to gauge the composition in Jupiter’s atmosphere. The presence of water and other gasses can provide scientists with clues about the origin and formation of the planet. Readings on magnetic and gravity fields can generate a better image of the deep structure of the planet's core.

Juno’s first orbit around Jupiter to collect data was a success. On the second, however, two problems occurred. First, Juno’s data collection instruments went into safe mode and did not record any new information. In addition, an engine-related issue caused flight controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to delay a key orbital maneuver.

Download the zip file, transfer all files to your TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator and run the TI-Basic program JUNOPRB.8xp. To get the solution for this puzzle, fix the code to get Juno out of safe mode and ready for further data collection, and then make a decision about the engine issue.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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Space Day (8 points)0

Welcome to your Space Day (8 points)

TICalculators will host a #SpaceDay Facebook Live event on May 5, 2017.

Tune in live or watch the recording to find the answer!


Click here for more information about this and other live video events from NASA and TI.


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Space Mathematician (7 points)0

Welcome to your Space Mathematician (7 points)

African-American women faced adversity when pursuing STEM careers in the 1950s and 1960s. Nonetheless, many were successful computational experts who aided NASA on its journey to the moon.

Katherine Johnson's calculations were integral in enabling John Glenn to become the first American to orbit Earth aboard Friendship 7 in February 1962. Her work, along with that of many other women like her, set the groundwork for NASA's exploration of space.

Along with T.H. Skopinski, Katherine used sample calculations to determine the precise velocity in which a spacecraft might travel at the conclusion of powered flight. According to the report, what was that velocity in ft/sec?


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Course Adjustment (15 points)0

Welcome to your Course Adjustment (15 points)

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, monitors the position of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft and other probes and objects orbiting Mars. MAVEN has an orbit that crosses paths with several of those probes and one of Mars’ two known moons, Phobos, many times in a year.

JPL has received notification that the MAVEN is on a trajectory for collision with Phobos in seven days. The simulation shows MAVEN and Phobos on a course for collision. Read the code and determine how to avoid catastrophe.

Download all the programs files, transferring them to your TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator and then try your plan by running the program MAVENPRB.8xp. By how much does the orbital velocity need to be increased? Make sure to include units in your answer.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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STAGE 4: Mission to Mars

All systems are go for the red planet.

Number of Earth Days to Mars (5 points)0

Welcome to your Number of Earth Days to Mars (5 points)

Getting to Mars takes a long time ... even when you’re traveling at speeds in the tens of thousands of miles per hour! Astronaut Scott Kelly stayed aboard the International Space Station for 1 year to help scientists learn how microgravity affects the body after long duration missions. Calculate the following scenario to determine how long future astronauts will have to live in space to arrive at Mars from Earth.

If you were to leave Earth in a spaceship traveling at an average velocity of 23,500 miles per hour, and if Mars is 75 million miles away, how many days (round to the nearest whole day) would it take to arrive at the red planet?


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Take This Job and Love It (13 points)0

Welcome to your Take This Job and Love It (13 points)

Settling Mars is the next frontier. To do that, we will need people that have skills like those shown in the posters to the right. What other careers do you think we will need to colonize the red planet? Most of the careers will require the ability to solve problems. Test your problem solving skills by solving the puzzles in this challenge. Once you determine the combination, use it to unlock the secret phrase on your TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator using the program called “MARSJOBS”.

Jobs aplenty there will be!
Adventure and excitement you will see!
On the planet that’s red
Is where it is said,
The next human colony might be!

Oh, but many things we will need.
New ways to grow food from seed.
A new kind of farmer,
Where it’s colder not warmer.
A big challenge to conquer, indeed!

Machines will help us succeed.
But they can break, that’s guaranteed!
When that happens, do not despair.
A technician is there for repair.
Great! It’s working again to complete my deed!

A new generation before you,
Open minds and interests to pursue.
It’s why you teach
For goals they may reach:
A career that’s rewarding! It’s true!

Explore the red frontier!
The terrain can be severe.
To make a map, the land you’ll survey
So explorers won’t be led astray,
Making it safe from there to here!”

Now it’s time for your clue!
Review the order with your crew.
Four numbers to load
Into the MARSJOBS code.
The answer you can now view!”


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Driving on Another Planet (10 points)+10

Welcome to your Driving on Another Planet (10 points)

NASA will host a Facebook Live event on May 8, 2017.

Tune in live or watch the recording to find the answer!


Click here for more information about this and other live video events from NASA and TI.


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Have You Lost Weight (5 points)0

Welcome to your Have You Lost Weight (5 points)

On July 20, 1976, Viking 1 landed in the Martian plain of Chryse Planitia at 11:56:06 UT, becoming the first American spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of another planet.

Mars has 38% the gravity of Earth. The Viking 1 lander has 572 kg of mass and weighs 5611 N on Earth. Using your calculator, determine the weight (in Newtons) of the Viking lander on Mars. Round to the nearest whole number.

Hint - Weight (in Newtons) is calculated by multiplying the mass of an object (kg) by the gravity of the planet (m/s²). The gravity of Mars is 3.7 m/s². Newtons = kg*m/s²


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The Martian Cipher (25 points)0

Welcome to your The Martian Cipher (25 points)

It’s 2045 and the crew is fast asleep in the Martian habitat at the Gale Crater

Beep, Beep, Beep ... Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beep, Beep, Beep.

You wake up, groggily, to determine the source of the beeping. It’s not the computer; it’s the Martian air quality sensor, but the readings are normal.

Beeeeeeep, Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beep … Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beep, Beep, Beep

Beeeeeeep, Beep, Beep ... Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beeeeeeep, Beep

You and your crew have been living in the Mars habitat for about a year. This is the first time for an apparent equipment failure. The first rule in fixing electronics is to reboot. You turn the sensor off and back on; readings normal. Back to bed.

Beeeeeeep, Beep ... Beep ... Beep ... Beeeeeeep, Beep, Beep

Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beep, Beep ... Beep, Beeeeeeep ... Beeeeeeep ... Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beep, Beep ... Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beeeeeeep, Beep ... Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beep

Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beep ... Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beep ... Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beep, Beep ... Beeeeeeep, Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep

Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep

Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beeeeeeep, Beep

Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep, Beeeeeeep ... Beep, Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beep ... Beep, Beep, Beeeeeeep, Beep

The rest of the crew is now awake and staring at the air quality sensor. One of them sits at the computer to play back the 24-hour video of the habitat to listen to the beeps again. She then starts to write something down. Suddenly, she stands up and proclaims, “They’re in trouble!”

Something must be wrong with the communication and navigational systems aboard an incoming resupply ship. It’s carrying all of the food, water, medical supplies, and electronics to keep the habitat up and running, as well as a new crew. They are using the ship’s remote air quality reader to trick the monitor at the habitat to sound alarms with short and long beeps.

Your task is to decipher the message and respond accordingly; it is critical that the resupply vessel land at the exact landing site.


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Space Garden (5 points)0

Welcome to your Space Garden (5 points)

The Vegetable Production System (VEGGIE) is a NASA project that studies the most efficient ways to grow plants in microgravity environments such as the International Space Station. A trip to Mars will certainly require food to be grown while astronauts make the months-long journey to the red planet and back. VEGGIE will help us learn how to achieve this.

Now it’s your turn.

A school that is trying to replicate the ISS VEGGIE using a Texas Instruments graphing calculator to run a TI-Basic program that controls a TI-Innovator™ Hub with TI LaunchPad™ Board (learn more here.) Other components include an analog pump to water the plants, and soil moisture, temperature and light sensors.

The pump (ANALOG.OUT1) is plugged into the TI-Innovator™ Hub’s OUT(put) 1 port. The light sensor is plugged into IN(put) 3 port. Soil moisture is connected to IN(put) 1 port, while the DHT (humidity and temperature) is plugged into IN(put) 2. When they run the project, the pump is supposed to come on when the light level goes below 25 percent. It’s not working, though.

Your challenge: Find out what’s wrong and enter the exact number of the line of code to fix so that the pump runs properly.


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Getting to Mars is Hard (7 points)0

Welcome to your Getting to Mars is Hard (7 points)

Getting a crew to Mars, and safely back to Earth, is a lot harder than many realize.

Astronaut Stan Love, loves to talk about this topic.

How many months would it take to successfully get a crew to Mars, work on Mars, and return safely back to Earth?


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Breathing Easy While Seeing Red (5 points)0

Welcome to your Breathing Easy While Seeing Red (5 points)

You have about five hours of work to do outside of your Martian habitat. First, though, you need to fill your air tanks to ensure you have enough air to breathe while you are working. Your rate of air consumption is 250 mL/min.

Calculate how many liters of air you will need to put in your tanks to complete your task.


Hint - You have the time you will need to wear the air tanks and the consumption rate (per minute).


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Red Balloons (12 points)0

Welcome to your Red Balloons (12 points)

BB JC DE DA HE SA LE QA PE PA RE BD NA CD LA DD HA FD HD SB JD QB LD PB ND NB PD LB RD JB DC HB FB HC DB LC AB PC


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STAGE 5: Adventures in Aeronautics

Flights of Fancy

Look! A Flying Fish and It's a Whoppah! (5 points)0

Welcome to your Look! A Flying Fish and It's a Whoppah! (5 points)

Look! It’s a flying fish
that’s too big for your dish.
It can carry a lot, and
for its name you ought
to run the code if you wish.


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Key to Prioritization (25 points)0

Welcome to your Key to Prioritization (25 points)

A NASA-led research team recently concluded testing on a new cockpit-based, air traffic management system. It provides pilots with more precise spacing information upon approach to busy airports so more planes can land safely in a given time.

Recently, air traffic control at an airport had two planes inbound for runway 012. One of the planes was low on fuel and needed to take priority in landing. Download the programs to your TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator and run the program FLIGHT2. It models each plane’s flight and takes a user input from a key press to assign priority.

Your challenge: Fix the program to give the plane coming in from the south priority to land.

For more information for using TI-Basic on the TI-84 Plus CE calculator, refer to the coding e-guide at https://education.ti.com/html/webhelp/EG_TI84PlusCECode/EN/index.html


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Bio-Fueling Around (5 points)0

Welcome to your Bio-Fueling Around (5 points)

NASA recently announced that a study reveals biofuels help reduce jet engine pollution. During the study, they flew NASA aircraft at high altitude and measured emissions from a blend of regular aviation fuel and a renewable alternative fuel. What is the ratio of the blended fuel?


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MACHo Man (10 points)0

Welcome to your MACHo Man (10 points)

Download the TI-Basic programs and run MachoMan.8xp on your TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator in order to solve this problem.


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New Aviation Horizons (12 points)0

Welcome to your New Aviation Horizons (12 points)

NASA's initiative New Aviation Horizons (NAH) is an ambitious 10-year plan to build five mostly large-scale experimental aircraft – X-planes – to flight-test new technologies, systems and novel aircraft and engine configurations. Advancing these technologies will enhance the aviation industry at large by helping aircraft become quieter, cleaner and faster.

One of the designs is the X-57 Maxwell, shown here. It has 14 propellers distributed across its wings. At NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, engineers have developed a simulator that provides a virtual flight experience according to what the X-plane will actually feel like when it flies, which will be as early as 2018. The simulator enables pilots and engineers to familiarize themselves with the system, reduce reaction times, become proficient at maneuvering the aircraft, and develop emergency procedures.

X-57 principal investigator, Sean Clarke, was running flight tests from the simulator pilot’s seat and kept getting an identical problem on landing. The research team calculated that the average response time by the pilot to resolve the issue was 14.6 seconds. The simulator software seemed to have encoded the issue on the heads-up-display (HUD). See if you can determine what the simulator was indicating was wrong with the plane.

WARNING!

Hywxj Bqdtydw Wuqh Malfunction!


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The Dream Chaser (10 points)0

Welcome to your The Dream Chaser (10 points)

NASA contractor Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) has delivered its Dream Chaser spacecraft to the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, where it will undergo several months of flight-testing.

The test series is part of a developmental space act agreement SNC has with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Other contractors include SpaceX, with its Dragon vehicle set to launch atop the Falcon 9 rocket, and Boeing, whose CST-100 Starliner will be launched by an Atlas 5 rocket to rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Sierra Nevada Corp.'s upcoming test campaign will help validate the aerodynamic properties, flight software and control system performance of the Dream Chaser.

The Dream Chaser is also being prepared to deliver cargo to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract beginning in 2019. The data that SNC gathers from this test campaign will help influence and inform the final design of the cargo Dream Chaser, which will fly at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the space station by 2024.

You are an engineer evaluating the vehicle's test flight. Pitch and roll are in the green but there seems to be another axis having trouble. Which is it?


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A History of Flight (15 points)0

Welcome to your A History of Flight (15 points)

Humans have been fascinated with flight since the earliest records of civilization. To soar like the birds from place to place was a fantasy in the thousands of years of recorded human history. It has only been relatively recently that humans have figured out how to cheat gravity by taking advantage of a keen understanding of how fluids work (air in this case).

Open the program, “MYFLIGHT” to take a journey through time to solve riddles and puzzles, and deal with misdirects around the saga of human flight.


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Feeling First (5 points)0

Welcome to your Feeling First (5 points)

100101101011101001
001011110101000011
001010101010001110

110101111010101011
011010000110011101
000010001011001011

1101101011011010
0110110100110111
0000100000101010


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STAGE 6: Fun With Technology

Inventing tomorrow today

Gift From the North (15 points)0

Welcome to your Gift From the North (15 points)

The Communication Radio Frequency Onboard Network Utilization Specialist (CRONUS) is responsible for managing the transfer of data between orbiting satellites, the International Space Station and mission control. It also provides information technology support and software updates for ISS computers. One day, astronaut Chris Hadfield reported to Houston that his laptop was running slow. CRONUS sent him a software update with a coded hint for the password. He deciphered the code, typed in the password and began updating his software. Can you decipher the password hint and use it to unlock the Patch program? After unlocking the program, Chris notices a clue inside the code…

Password: Two words, no spaces, 10 letters total.

HINT: Gsv krvxv lu gsv RHH gszg blfi slnv xlfmgib kilerwvw.


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Valkyrie (5 points)0

Welcome to your Valkyrie (5 points)

The Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering Directorate designed and built NASA’s R5 space robot, aka Valkyrie, to compete in the 2013 DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. Valkyrie, a name taken from Norse mythology, is a robust, rugged and entirely electric humanoid robot capable of operating in degraded or damaged human-engineered environments. Building on prior experience from designing Robonaut 2, the JSC Valkyrie team implemented improved electronics, actuators and sensing capability from earlier generations of JSC humanoid robots.

You are a robotics engineer at NASA having fun programming Valkyrie to perform various tasks. You are hosting a student robotics challenge in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. Students have built robots that will battle one another. One of Valkyrie’s tasks is to pick up broken robots that have been defeated in battle and deliver them to a box where students can reclaim and fix them.

The box has a coded name that appears to be an anagram. Can you unravel it? It is much like the place where the original Valkyries went.

LAVA HALL


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Comrade VEGGIE (8 points)0

Welcome to your Comrade VEGGIE (8 points)

The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) is a new NASA technology that serves as a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops. It is a safe source of palatable, nutritious fresh food and a tool to support relaxation and recreation. Veggie provides lighting and nutrient delivery, but utilizes the cabin environment for temperature control and as a source of carbon dioxide to promote growth. There are many difficult challenges to developing an apparatus that can successfully grow plants in space, but current research will help future Mars explorers create self-sustaining plant habitats.

One day during International Space Station Expedition 40, NASA astronaut Steve Swanson had trouble setting up the Veggie experiment. He felt like he was missing an important piece. He couldn’t find his NASA handbook on Veggie but did locate this handwritten note from his cosmonaut crewmate, Alexander Skvortsov:

"Почвенные Подушки необходимы при выращивании растений в условиях микрогравитации, так как _________ _________ является слишком сильным."

Help Steve fill in the blanks from the message above. Why is this tool necessary?


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Robots Taking Our Jobs (8 points)0

Welcome to your Robots Taking Our Jobs (8 points)

NASA will host a live event on NASA Distance Learning Network on May 22, 2017.

Tune in live or watch the recording to find the answer!


Click here for more information about this and other live video events from NASA and TI.



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Getting Robonaut Back on Track (15 points)0

Welcome to your Getting Robonaut Back on Track (15 points)

NASA and General Motors worked together to create a humanoid robot called Robonaut 2, or R2. R2’s software enables it to “think” for itself or operate by remote control. Lately, R2 has been mixing up remote-control commands. For some strange reason, when given the command to go left, it goes right. And when told to go right, it moves to the left. Open the ROBONAT2 program and see if you can fix R2.


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The Key to Smelling (10 points)0

Welcome to your The Key to Smelling (10 points)

21, 31, 51, 52, 82, 52, 43, 82, 81, 71, 55, 31, 94, 21, 31, 41, 42, 42, 75, 52, 84, 61, 41, 82, 52, 51, 71, 72, 81, 82, 75, 61, 64, 81

What am I?


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Eyes on the Solar System (15 points)0

Welcome to your Eyes on the Solar System (15 points)

The Visualization Technology Application and Development Team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has engineered a riveting computer program that immerses users into the cosmos. "NASA's Eyes" can be downloaded here, (Mac® or PC) and can be used to explore probes and satellites throughout the solar system and beyond. Users can even explore each exoplanet discovered by Kepler and Spitzer telescopes. Use the program to answer this problem:

On Thanksgiving Day, 2016, residents of this city looked up and saw the brightest artificial satellite in the sky passing overhead at 17:57 UTC.

Where was this?

Mac® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.


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Pressure is On (10 points)0

Welcome to your Pressure is On (10 points)

Human life in space depends on the proper storage and management of liquids. The vehicles we use in space, including the International Space Station (ISS), rely on liquids for functions such as energy and propulsion, operations and life-support for the astronauts. The appropriate pressure and temperature for storage is essential to prevent loss of fluids or worse: the failure of a storage tank.

In the microgravity of low earth orbit, rocket fuels and other liquids are stored at cryogenic temperatures. As they warm, they evaporate, which increases the pressure inside of the storage tanks. On Earth, releasing pressure is as simple as having a relief valve that opens when the pressure gets too high, but that involves losing liquids. Astronauts on ISS are experimenting with new techniques to relieve tank pressure without losing any of the precious liquids. Download and run this TI-Basic program to get the first clue and learn more.


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Eyes on the Exoplanets (7 points)0

Welcome to your Eyes on the Exoplanets (7 points)

The Visualization Technology Application and Development Team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, enabled their program to allow users to explore the thousands of exoplanets discovered by Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes. You may already have downloaded "NASA's Eyes" program for your computer when you did the Eyes on the Solar System activity; if not, download it here, (Mac® or PC) and use it to explore other solar systems in the Milky Way galaxy that are far beyond our own.

Use Eyes on the Exoplanets to solve the following puzzle:

Although the Kepler Space Telescope is located far from Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty The Queen would be very proud of the astronomers and engineers who originally developed it. Astronomers have used it to discover and conduct infrared spectroscopy on an exoplanet located in the habitable zone of its star. However, it will take 3,571 years to arrive there from Earth traveling at 1c. Not to mention, it is likely that this planet's atmosphere more closely resembles Jupiter than Earth.

What is this planet’s name?


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