Asteroid Missions

 International space agencies NASA, JAXA, and ESA have all sent several missions to investigate asteroids in our solar system. There are three kinds of missions:

Flyby Missions – spacecraft fly near one or more asteroid, taking photographs and making other measurements and observations.

Orbital Missions – spacecraft are sent to orbit an asteroid. Even the biggest asteroids are much smaller than our moon, with much weaker gravity, making orbiting difficult.

Sample Return Missions – spacecraft orbit an asteroid and send probes to collect samples, which are then brought back to Earth.

Students from STEM For All have studied some of these missions and present their findings here. Don’t miss the asteroid mission launched on a special occasion by one STEM For All student on her own.

These findings are displayed at the sidewalk of Chippewa Middle School, Okemos, Michigan as part of the existing Solar Walk. This Solar Walk is a scale model of the solar system designed by the Okemos Middle School 8th Grade Class of 2014. The asteroids have been placed at the same scale as the planets, with the Sun at the corner of Okemos Road and Kinawa Drive.

All displays have QRiosity Codes leading to the videos on this page where you can see the STEM For All students explain the missions or the asteroids.

Brenden Lamp
7th grade,
Holt Junior High
Hayabusa2 Mission

Christina Susan Joseph
8th Grade
Okemos Chippewa
DAWN Mission

Jonathon Hackett
7th grade
Holt Junior High
Hayabusa 1 Mission to Itokawa

Lyndi Lamp
4th grade
Dimondale Elementary
DAWN Mission to Ceres and Vesta

Haresh Karthikeyan
6th Grade
Okemos Kinawa
OSIRIS-Rex and Bennu

Manush Gopal
11th grade
Okemos High School
Colonizing Asteroid Belt

On the day the number of digits needed to represent her new age doubled, Lyndi Lamp took on an ambitious mission, probably never attempted by even NASA. Her mission was to bake a birthday cake in the shape of an asteroid. Here is the result:

It was a FAIL. First Attempt In Learning (Borrowed from a NASA educator).

She thought the cake was delicious. Her next mission is to use the telescope next to her to find an asteroid that matches the shape of the cake. With millions of asteroids in the asteroid belt, she may be onto an adventurous mission.

STEM For All wishes that she FAILS (Fearlessly Attempts Intense Learning to Succeed).