Header Bar Graphic
Astronaut ImageArchives HeaderBoy Image

TabHomepage ButtonWhat is NASA Quest ButtonSpacerCalendar of Events ButtonWhat is an Event ButtonHow do I Participate Button
SpacerBios and Journals ButtonSpacerPics, Flicks and Facts ButtonArchived Events ButtonQ and A ButtonNews Button
SpacerEducators and Parents ButtonSpacer
Highlight Graphic
Sitemap ButtonSearch ButtonContact Button

Challenge Project Online banner

The Challenge Team answers your questions

Asking the Challenge Project Team Your Questions

The opportunity to send email questions to the men and women of the Challenge Project team is available beginning September 1, 1998 through the end of the month. Continuing questions related to space applications may be directed to Space Team Online Q&A. We are grateful to the Challenge Project folks for generously volunteering their time to support this service. To avoid using their time for duplicate questions, before all else, please check the archive of previously asked questions before submitting yours. The sections below will describe some guidelines and procedures for the process.

Students, teachers and lifelong learners can email questions to the Scott Carpenter Analog Space Station crew and the staff involved in the Challenge Project. This interaction will be supported by a "Smart Filter" which protects the professional from Internet overload by acting as a buffer. The actual email addresses of these experts will remain unlisted. Also, repetitive questions will be answered from an accumulating database of replies; thus the valued interaction with the experts will be saved for original questions. (You can directly search this database.)

Tips for Asking Good Questions

Each and every expert is excited about connecting with you. But it is important to remember that the time and energy of these researchers is extremely valuable. If possible, please review the materials available online to gain an overall understanding of the basics.It would be best to ask questions that are not easily answered elsewhere. For example, "How big is the Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station?" would not be an appropriate question.

We recognize that this creates a gray area about whether or not a question is appropriate. Simply use your best judgment. Since the main idea is to excite students about the wonders of science and research, please err on the side of participating. If you are not sure whether or not to send a question, send it.

Some classroom teachers have used a group dynamic to refine the questions that they email to experts. For example, after first studying Challenge Project material, students divide into groups and create a few questions per group. All of the questions are then shared, and students are given an opportunity to find answers to their classmates' questions. Those that remain unanswered are sent to the Challenge Project team.

Ideally, the act of sending questions will further engage the students in their learning. Classroom teachers might want to help students to learn to ask good questions. Here are three questions the students might be encouraged to ask themselves as they submit their questions:

    What do I want to know?

    Is this information to be found in a resource I could easily check (such as a school encyclopedia)?

    Why do I want to know it? ("What will I do with the information?" or "How will I use what I learn?")

The last question is the most interesting. Students' reflection on why they want to know something is a very valuable learning experience.

How to Submit Your Questions (Address and Format)

Questions will be accepted from September 1, 1998 through the end of the month. To submit a question during that time, send it to the following email address:

In the subject field, please put the letters "QA:" before a descriptive subject. Also, provide a sentence of background information to help the experts understand the level of response required. The following example should illustrate this idea.

TO:             question-sto@quest.arc.nasa.gov
FROM:           your email address
SUBJECT:        QA: weightlessness underwater 
I am an 8th grader from Biloxi, Mississippi.   
Is there anything done on the Space Analog Station to imitate the
weightlessness of space?
Thanks, Sophie Jackson

We will acknowledge and answer all questions as quickly as possible. Our goal is to provide a basic acknowledgment immediately. In most cases we should be able to provide an answer within ten days to two weeks.

Limits on Submitting Questions

One Question per Message If you or your class have several questions which are unrelated, we ask that you please send each unrelated question in a separate email message rather than as one message with many different questions. While this may be inconvenient, it is important because it will help us to keep track of the questions and ensure that no question remains unanswered. Messages that do not follow this request will be unnecessarily delayed as we go through the extra step of splitting up the messages ourselves.

Twenty Question Limit Any individual teacher will be limited to submitting a total of twenty (20) questions during the life of the project. Hopefully this will encourage more classroom discussion about what students want to know and will lead to research done before asking questions.

Browsing Answers to Questions Already Asked

An archive of question/answer pairs of previously asked questions is available.

Searching Question/Answer Pairs

A capability to search for interesting question/answer pairs is available. The system relies on the user choosing one or more keywords related to their interest. Every existing question/answer pair will be searched to see if it contains the keywords.

Receiving All Question/Answer Pairs as They are Posted

A capability for those people who would like to receive ongoing email with answers to all of the questions asked will exist. Each night, one mail message will be sent to those interested. This message will contain a copy of every question/answer pair generated that day. If you would like to receive these message, please send an email to In the message body, write these words:
    subscribe answers-sto

credits link

Footer Bar Graphic
SpacerSpace IconAerospace IconAstrobiology IconWomen of NASA IconSpacer
Footer Info