Natalie Fout, a Secondary Math Education Major at Glenville State University

West Virginia Space Grant Consortium Awards Glenville State University Student Eclipse Ballooning Internship

Natalie Fout, a Secondary Math Education Major at Glenville State University, has successfully completed a transformative internship with the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC) during the summer of 2023. Her role as Outreach Coordinator and Launch Director for the West Virginia Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (WVNEBP) marked a significant contribution to this NASA-funded initiative, bringing together 70 atmospheric science and engineering teams from across the nation.

The WVNEBP, a part of the WVSGC, is gearing up to participate in the ‘paths of ecliptic totality’ during the upcoming annular and total eclipses on October 14th, 2023, and April 8th, 2024. This pioneering project involves launching high-altitude balloons into the stratosphere to collect invaluable atmospheric data and livestream breathtaking video footage.

Read the full article on the West Virginia Daily News website here.

Image Credit: WV Daily News

Author Credit: WV Daily News

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Mississippi Space Grant Awards ’23 – ’24 Graduate Fellowships

Four University of Southern Mississippi (USM) graduate students in its College of Arts and Sciences have been awarded the prestigious NASA-Mississippi Space Grant Consortium’s (MSSGC) Graduate Research Fellowship for the current academic year (2023-24).

The MSSGC is a statewide non-profit entity consisting of institutions of higher learning, which includes USM, coordinated and supported by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Its mission is to enhance and support aerospace science and technology efforts and activities in Mississippi, as well as promote a strong science, mathematics, and technology base at precollege, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the region’s educational institutions.

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Author Credit: Ivonne Kawas

Abigail Urbina ’24 M.S., Anais Gardere ’24 M.S., Dr. Anna Kloc, Sagar Bhatta ’23 M.S., Aravinda Pentela ’24 M.S.

Connecticut Space Grant Supports Innovative Grant-Supported Research

Nearly a dozen Chargers have received grants or scholarships from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium that will support their cutting-edge research, create important educational opportunities, and, possibly, lead to exciting scientific discoveries.

For Katie Durkee ’24 M.S., the opportunities she’s had to conduct research have enabled her to pursue her interests and discover new passions. A strong believer in the ability of research to help yield new discoveries, she hopes her own work can play an important role in furthering knowledge and innovation on Earth – and beyond.

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Author Credit: Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

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Pennsylvania Space Grant Selects 2023 Scholars and Fellows

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fourteen graduate students from Penn State have been awarded research fellowships and nine undergraduate students from around the commonwealth have been awarded scholarships from the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (PSGC).

For 35 years, the Pennsylvania Space Grant College and Fellowship Program has been working to expand opportunities in Pennsylvania for citizens to learn about and participate in NASA programs by supporting STEM education, training, research, and public understanding while promoting multi-faceted diversity among project participants. The program is one of 52 NASA Space Grant programs across the country that are part of the NASA-run initiative to support educational initiatives in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Each year PSGC receives funds from the national NASA Space Grant Project to develop and implement student fellowships and scholarships programs. Through this funding PSGC administers the Graduate Fellowship Program and Undergraduate Scholarship Program.

Read the full article on the Penn State website.

Author Credit: Patricia Craig


Constance Meadors Professional Headshot

Arkansas Space Grant Consortium Names New Associate Director, Dr. Constance Meadors

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock welcomes Dr. Constance Meadors as the first associate director of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

In her new role, Meadors is responsible for overseeing the planning of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium partnering with numerous state agencies and programs during the 2024 Solar Eclipse that will put most of central Arkansas in the path of totality. Additionally, she will organize the Outreach Program, work with NASA to align ASGC and NASA EPSCoR programs, and will serve as the liaison to NASA.

“It is an honor to return to the place where my NASA experience and rocket science research started,” Meadors stated. “In my new position as associate director, I plan to utilize my experience and passion to capitalize on the state’s homegrown talent and aerospace industry to move the entire state into the new space economy.”


Read the full article on the UA Little Rock website.


Image Credit: UA Little Rock

Author Credit: Angelita Faller


UMass Amherst mechanical engineering major Brendan Scott smiling in front of striped background

Massachusetts Student Receives NASA Space Grant Award


Fellowship funds research conducted under College of Engineering’s Yanfei Xu

University of Massachusetts Amherst mechanical engineering major Brendan Scott has received a NASA undergraduate fellowship to study how insulative polymers could be turned into high thermal conductivity polymers. These polymers are desirable for a wide variety of applications ranging from space exploration to electronics that need to dissipate heat quickly and efficiently.

Such high-performance technology doesn’t exist yet in a large-scale way, but Scott is excited about the possible application of this work both among the stars as well as back here on Earth. “These designs would impact everything from heat sinks in small electronics to wirings, coatings, motors and more on space missions, having a huge impact across all disciplines of engineering.”

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Image & Author Credit: Julia Westbrook

6 adults smiling, 2 shaking hands

Michigan Space Grant Adds New Affiliate!


After presenting to the board, CMU was unanimously approved to join the consortium participating in NASA projects.


Central Michigan University was approved to join the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC). The MSGC’s mission is to “create, develop, and promote programs that reflect NASA’s strategic interests and support cooperation between academia, industry, state, and local government in science and technology in Michigan.”

With the University of Michigan as the lead, a consortium of 12 Michigan universities participates in NASA’s projects and offers a variety of funding opportunities to support student and faculty lead research projects, as well as fellowships, internships, and educational programs. Additionally, a conference is held each year to showcase the outcomes of the new research developed through the consortium’s funding.

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Author Credit: Hadlee Rinn

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Teachers working with hands-on materials for NASA lesson plan at IDEAS 2023 Workshop

SC, NC, & ND Space Grant Consortia Lead Educator Workshop focused on Accessibility

Last year, UND’s John D. Odegaard School for Aerospace Sciences hosted the first Innovative Differentiated Exploration Activities in Space Science (IDEAS) workshop, a partnership between the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC), the North Carolina Space Grant Consortium (NCSGC), the South Carolina Space Grant Consortium, and members of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

The intention of the IDEAS Educator Professional Development Workshop is to equip K-12 and college educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to make space science possible for all students, including underrepresented populations and people with disabilities. This goal aligns with the work that NDSGC has been doing to increase diversity and accessibility in space science.

Earlier this month, members of the NDSGC traveled to Baltimore with six North Dakota educators to attend the workshop at John Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The comprehensive, four-day event promoted inclusivity in space science through discussions, presentations and activities.


Read the full article on UND Today.

Author Credit: Walter Criswell

Image Credit: IDEAS Team (ND, SC, & NC Space Grant Consortia)

Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation Academic Innovation Challenge Logo

NASA Selects Four University Teams to Develop Technologies to Enhance Artemis Missions

NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation selected four university teams to develop advanced and innovative design ideas that will help solve Artemis mission challenges. The selections are part of the 2023-2024 Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation (M2M X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge sponsored by NASA’s Artemis Campaign Development Division.

The 2023-2024 M2M X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for NASA to build strategic partnerships with universities and tap into the ingenuity of the future Artemis Generation workforce. The challenge provides STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students interested in aerospace careers with hands-on development and research experience, while strengthening NASA capability for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Past student participants have gone on to careers in the aerospace industry, including at NASA.

Universities in support of the M2M X-Hab 2023-2024 Academic Innovation Challenge will advance science and technology innovations for Artemis missions with the following projects:

Evaluation of Heat Pipes to Transfer Heat in Fixed-Beds
University of Southern Alabama, Mobile, AL

In this work undergraduate students will assess the usage f heat pipes as a means of moving heat to and from an adsorption bed.  Specifically, heat management in thermal swing adsorption systems is complex, and in some cases, can be the rate-limiting step that dictates system operation and efficiency.  In general, this complexity arises because adsorption occurs when the adsorbent is at ambient temperature, but during regeneration, heat is used to remove adsorbed molecules.  As a result, immediately after heating the bed during regeneration, the bed must be cooled before it can return to adsorption service.  Many schemes can be envisioned to manage this energy balance, such as using multiple beds to allow for cooling steps or placing the bed being heated in contact with a bed being cooled.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Management for the CO2 Deposition System
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

The project aims to develop a comprehensive Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) management system for integration with the CO2 deposition system on the International Space Station (ISS), eliminating a key barrier to deep-space crewed missions. Graduate and upper-level undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines will work together to deliver a detailed VOC management plan, as well as a bench top version of the system along with a set of guidelines for the safe handling and disposal of VOCs. The notional concept for the deposition system involves the usage of renewable catalysts for photocatalytic oxidation technology, to break down and remove VOCs from a transient airflow. The system will be integrated upstream from the cryogel tanks, providing the CDep system with a VOC-free airstream. Further analysis into VOC degradation tools will be conducted using multi criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques and formal trade studies in order to maximize the product’s efficiency. This filtration technique will enable a system that degrades VOCs while minimizing mass, volume, and power impact. The deliverable will ideally inform the design of both an air purification system for long term deep-space missions that is both renewable and reusable. The team will deliver both modeling and tested experimental results as part of the product’s characterization and performance evaluation.

Integrating Gamification and IDEIs to Enable Crew Health and Performance on Mars
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

Students will develop Intelligent Devices/Equipment/Instruments that can help maintain Crew Health and Performance for crews living on Mars for extended periods of time.  The proposed project seeks to address these particularly unique challenges through the design and development of an IDEI that integrates gamification and autonomous, wearable monitoring devices to aid in performance-based training and assessment of astronaut performance on Earth and during missions.

Intelligent Devices/Equipment/Instruments (IDEI) for Enabling Crew Health and Performance on Mars
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Graduate and undergraduate students will develop a functional prototype for at least two intelligent exercise devices, along with associated metrics and measurement methods to be utilized in implementing integrated system health management for crew health and performance during long-duration Mars missions. The BLiSS team will also develop an accompanying user interface, which will be gamified with virtual reality or immersive content in order to help alleviate the mental and cognitive challenges associated with a long-duration mission to Mars.


Image Credit: NASA

Text reads: RISGC students build satellite. Image of satellite in space, orbiting earth in the background

Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium Supports Student Satellite Research Project

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Common sense suggests that space missions can only happen with multimillion-dollar budgets, materials built to withstand the unforgiving conditions beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and as a result of work done by highly trained specialists.

But a team of engineering students from Brown University has turned that assumption on its head.

They built a satellite on a shoestring budget and using off-the-shelf supplies available at most hardware stores. They even sent the satellite — which is powered by 48 Energizer AA batteries and a $20 microprocessor popular with robot hobbyists — into space about 10 months ago, hitching a ride on Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket.


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Author Credit: Juan Siliezar