NASA Observing Challenges Special Awards

NASA Observing Challenge Special Award Coordinator:

Aaron Clevenson
19411 Cluster Oaks Drive
Humble, TX 77346-2918
Telephone: 281-852-4667








Disclaimer statement:
“The material contained in this document is based upon work supported by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant or cooperative agreement. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.”


The Astronomical League has been working with NASA to bring you Observing Challenges.  These are opportunities to participate in events associated with space missions to objects within the Solar System.  These challenges have certificates signed by the Astronomical League President and Associate Director for Science, Heliphysics Science Division (HSD), Goddard Space Flight Center.  New opportunities will be added as new milestones for various missions occur.


Requirements and Rules

To earn the certification, you need to meet these requirements:

  • Image or sketch the required object(s)
  • Submit that image or sketch as indicated by that challenge.  These should show as much detail as possible.
  • Do an outreach event associated with the event in the challenge
  • The deadline for each challenge is typically one month after the event.  Late submissions will not be accepted.

You do not need to be a member of the Astronomical League to receive this certification.   If you are not a member and would like to become one, check with your local astronomical society, search for a local society on the Astronomical League Website or click here.

The certificates, which are suitable for framing will be emailed to you, and may be printed by you.


The NASA Observing Challenges

Current Challenges:

There are no currently active NASA Observing Challenges. 


Previous Challenges that have been included in the program are:

  • New Horizons rendezvous with Pluto on July 14, 2015 (deadline: August 14, 2015).
  • Comet Siding Spring rendezvous with Mars on October 19, 2014 (deadline:  November 19, 2015).
  • Rosetta Spacecraft rendezvous with Comet Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 11, 2014 (deadline: January 12, 2015).
  • TESS - Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (deadline: July 31,2018)
  • Mars InSight Mission - landing is scheduled for 11/26/2018 (deadline: December 31, 2018)
  • Apollo - 50th Anniversary (deadline: August 31, 2019)
  • Mercury Transit of the Sun (deadline: December 11, 2019)
  • Landing og the Perseverance Rover on Mars (deadline: March 18, 2021)

NASA Observing Challenges Special Awards Coordinator:

Aaron B. Clevenson
19411 Cluster Oaks Drive
Humble, TX 77346-2918
(281) 852-4667