Status Report

NASA Quest: LCROSS: Exploration Through Navigation Challenge

By SpaceRef Editor
October 23, 2008
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NASA Quest: LCROSS: Exploration Through Navigation Challenge

NASA Quest presents its Fall 2008 Challenge, LCROSS: Exploration Through Navigation.

During this challenge, students will chart a course from the Big Island of Hawai’i to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) by using ocean navigation skills that were used in early Polynesian exploration. In Part II of the challenge, students will chart a course from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., to one of the lunar poles by using navigation skills appropriate for space.

For both tasks, each participating classroom will submit its navigation plan to NASA for experts to review. At the end of the challenge, students will be asked to compare and contrast methods of navigating on Earth (at sea) and in space. For both parts of the challenge, the essential question that will keep students on task will be “How will you stay on course?”

Background materials are available to help prepare for the challenge. An educator’s guide aligned to national education standards is available for those who register.

Registration is open now, and student projects are due Nov. 24, 2008.

Join NASA QUEST on Nov. 3, 2008, for an informative webcast designed to help participants design their navigation plans. Meet Kaelepa Baybayan, Polynesian Captain and Navigator of Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging canoes, and learn more about this art that lives on. Participants will be able to ask questions relating to polynesian navigation and receive encouragement in the design process.

For more information about the challenge and to register online, visit .

This challenge is a part of the educational programming for the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission, also known as LCROSS. This mission will be navigating an impactor to look for water ice in the polar region of the moon.

To learn more about the LCROSS mission and read news as it breaks, visit the main LCROSS site at

SpaceRef staff editor.