Next Moon Step CHALLENGE

Gold Stars Announced
Challenge Details



Challenge Closed

The "Next Moon Step" is a summer challenge leading up to an Artemis essay contest this fall, and we're excited to start some out-of-this-world brainstorming now! When Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the Moon in 1969, he famously said, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Now over 50 years later, NASA's Artemis program will return astronauts to the Moon. We want to hear what it means to you!

Your challenge is to create an image of your footprint (photo or artwork) and tell us what you would say, in 20 words or less, if you were the next person to step foot on the Moon. Your entry must be appropriate and original, and must not have been submitted for any other challenge or previously published. Exceptional entries may be marked in the gallery with "NASA gold stars". PLEASE DO NOT include your face or name in your entry. Be sure to check out the RULES for all details.

Here's some exciting information about the Artemis program, but the EDUCATION RESOURCES section below has even more information about lunar exploration. NASA's Artemis program has the bold challenge of landing "the first woman and the next man" on the Moon, specifically at the lunar south pole region by 2024. Working with its industry and international partners, NASA will fine-tune precision landing technologies and develop new mobility capabilities that allow robots and crew to travel greater distances and explore new regions of the Moon. On the Moon's surface, NASA has proposed building a new Artemis Base Camp with habitat and rovers, to test new power systems and more to prepare for future human exploration of Mars.


Instructions for Students and Teachers


K-12 Students who attended US public, private, or home schools during the 2019-2020 school year (including U.S. territories & possessions and schools operated by the U.S. for the children of American personnel overseas). Student interns and children of employees of NASA are not eligible to enter.

Grades K-2
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Grades 9-12


Please review the Challenge Rules and FAQ prior to creating your entry.

Challenge Rules FAQ

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Dive Into The Challenge

Lesson Plan Details and Challenge Tips!

1. Links & Lessons

Get to know the Artemis Program

2. Brainstorm & Design

How does Artemis inspire you?
Links & Lessons
Brainstorm & Design
Links & Lessons
Links & Lessons
Brainstorm & Design

Brainstorm & Design

While you’re getting your quote and footprint ready to submit, we’re hoping to inform and inspire you…the Artemis generation! Need some more information? Learn more about our Moon, NASA’s Artemis Program, and the history of human lunar exploration. We can’t wait to see what you send us!
Brainstorming Idea
History of Going to Moon

Let's take a look at the history of going to the moon. NASA's Apollo program succeeded in landing the first astronauts on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first walked on the lunar surface during the Apollo 11 mission, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit with the command and service module. All three astronauts landed safely on Earth on July 24, 1969. During the course of the Apollo program, which spanned from 1961 to 1972, six NASA spaceflights landed on the Moon and a total of twelve men walked on the Moon.









Brainstorming Idea
From Apollo to Artemis

Apollo proved it is possible to land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. Artemis will take this a step further and use the Moon as a testbed for human exploration of Mars. Apollo astronauts visited the Moon for a few days or less. Artemis astronauts will visit the Moon for multi-month stays with time split between the Gateway and the lunar surface. Apollo astronauts explored the Moon’s equatorial region. Artemis astronauts will visit the lunar South Pole. These are just some of the differences between the two programs. What are other differences? How might your quote speak to how far we have come and what the future holds?







Brainstorming Idea
Getting to the Moon

The moon is our nearest and most accessible neighbor, however, it's still an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away. How far away is that? That is 30 Earths away! To get to the moon, Astronauts will launch in the Orion Spacecraft atop the powerful Space Launch System Rocket. Orion, powered by a service module provided by the European Space Agency that has been specifically designed for deep space human operations for up to four crew members. Learn more about how astronauts will live and work onboard the Orion Spacecraft on the way to the Gateway, the new lunar outpost. From the Gateway, astronauts will use lunar landers to and from the moon's surface. We will build an Artemis Base Camp with a living area and rovers in order for astronauts to live, learn, and work on the Moon for extended stays. These are the essentials to return astronauts to the Moon to stay!

Brainstorming Idea
First Woman on the Moon

The Artemis mission will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. How might your quote commemorate this historic milestone for women?







Brainstorming Idea
Lunar Surface Exploration

Artemis will reveal new knowledge about the Moon, Earth, and our origins in the solar system. NASA will use precision landing technologies and develop new mobility capabilities to allow robots and astronauts to travel greater distances and explore new regions of the lunar surface. Maybe your quote will be inspired by the robots and astronauts that will explore more and conduct more science on the Moon than ever before.

Brainstorming Idea
New Technologies & Suits

From upgraded launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center to new modern next-generation spacesuits, Artemis has it all. Take a look at what is needed to get ready for launch. Check out NASA’s xEMU and Orion crew survival system suits. How will these new suits give astronauts the protection they need for their journey? 




Digital Tools

Build & Iterate


Group Size

Split into 8 teams


Assign each team a video lesson and have them present what they learned



Educator tools

Recent Entries
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The "Next Moon Step" Challenge is presented in support of NASA's Artemis program. The student challenge is part of NASA's efforts to engage the public in its missions to the Moon and Mars. NASA is returning to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation. Working with its partners throughout the Artemis program, the agency will fine-tune precision landing technologies and develop new mobility capabilities that allow robots and crew to travel greater distances and explore new regions of the Moon. On the surface, the agency has proposed building a new habitat and rovers, testing new power systems and much more to get ready for human exploration of Mars. Charged with returning to the Moon in the next four years, NASA’s Artemis program will reveal new knowledge about the Moon, Earth, and our origins in the solar system.

In Support of NASA's Artemis Program