NASA Offers Students a Chance to Explore Saturn

NASA is offering U.S. schoolchildren a chance to control the Cassini spacecraft. The space agency is holding a contest for students in grades 5-12 to decide what part of Saturn the spacecraft will explore for nearly an hour on June 10. Cassini’s Science Planning Team has developed a list of three possible targets.

“You are to weigh all the factors, and after choosing one of the three targets, explain the reasons for your choice in a 500-word essay,” the contest’s website states. “Your decision should be based on which image would yield the most scientific results. Just like actual scientists do, you are to explain what you hope to learn from the image you have selected. The artistic value of the image can be an added bonus to your decision.”

Students can work alone or in groups of up to four. The deadline for submission is May 8 at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.