Maybe Don’t Blow Up Satellites in Space

The astronauts were still asleep when NASA called the International Space Station. “Hey, Mark, good morning. Sorry for the early call,” a mission controller said in the early hours of Monday morning, speaking with Mark Vande Hei, one of four NASA astronauts on board. But the astronauts needed to get up, mission control said calmly, and move to the spacecraft docked to the station. They needed to be prepared to potentially escape and head back to Earth. This was an emergency.

NASA had just received word that a satellite had shattered into pieces. The cloud of debris was about to pass dangerously close to the space station, and everyone on board—four American astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts, and one German astronaut—had to hunker down.


Read the full article from the Atlantic here.


Image Credit: MIT News

Texas Space Grant Sponsors Student Aisha Williams with SEES Internship

In case you missed it!

Vicksburg High School student Aisha Williams has been selected for the prestigious STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES)  summer internship to be held at The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research.  Students will work with scientists and engineers to conduct authentic research from data received  from NASA’s Earth observing satellites as well as designing Mars habitats, Lunar Exploration, and robotics. This nationally competitive program sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant  Consortium selects students who will increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through Earth and space education.

SEES is a collaborative effort of Texas Space Grant Consortium members and affiliates, NASA, and The University of Texas at Austin. Students apply for SEES and are selected competitively.  The internships are organized around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from NASA’s diverse engineering and scientific research programs. The program combines the strengths of  collaborators to enrich teaching and learning of STEM.


Image Credit: VWSD

NEWS Crew-3 Astronauts Welcomed Aboard the International Space Station

NASA’s Crew-3 astronauts arrived at the International Space Station Thursday night, marking SpaceX’s fifth crewed spaceflight since May 2020. Crew-3′s arrival was part of an indirect takeover, where the outgoing Crew-2 astronauts were not able to welcome the new astronauts to the station.

After safely docking the Crew Dragon capsule, Crew-3 was welcomed by NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

Read the full article here.

Image Credit: SpaceX

JWST launch preparations on track

DUBAI, U.A.E. — The success of the most recent Ariane 5 launch has allowed preparations for the launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to move into the home stretch, officials said Oct. 27.

During a panel discussion at the 72nd International Astronautical Congress, representatives of NASA, the European Space Agency, Arianespace and other expressed confidence that the long-delayed giant space telescope will finally launch on Dec. 18.

Read the full article here.


Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Montana Space Grant Supports Students with NASA Internships in High Altitude Ballooning

BOZEMAN — Thanks to the Montana Space Grant Consortium, Montana State University students can take part in NASA internships without leaving the state, and this summer, senior Sam Riebling became the first technology education student to join the cohort.

Riebling, originally from Colorado, hadn’t intended to pursue the BOREALIS internship, but after taking courses from Montana Space Grant Consortium flight director Mike Walach, she found herself drawn to the program, which is open to all majors. While most interns come from the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, Reibling became one of the first from MSU’s College of Agriculture and the very first from the Department of Agricultural and Technology Education.


Read the full article here.


Image credit: MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

NASA Lucy to Launch TODAY!

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is set to embark on its 12-year tour, traveling almost four billion miles, to visit eight asteroids near Jupiter during its mission to reveal the Solar System’s origins.

The 14-meter probe is due to launch on Saturday 16 October at 0934 (UTC) atop Lockheed Martin’s Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The $981m mission is the first of its kind; no asteroid mission has ever ventured beyond the large asteroid belt, a region containing millions of space rocks between Mars and Jupiter.

Lucy will flyby a Main Belt object and then go on to study seven Trojans, asteroids that share the same orbit as Jupiter by its interaction with the Sun’s gravity. These are remnants of the Solar System’s early materials and may include a surprise moon.

Read the full article here.


📸: Lockheed Martin & Southwest Research Institute

South Carolina #NASASpaceGrant Intern Contributes to NASA Earth Science

NASA Langley Intern Brings Teaching Expertise to Earth Science Project


NASA interns join the agency for cutting edge, on-the-job training that will shape their future careers, but they also shape the agency with the experiences they bring to the job. One NASA intern used her skills as a teacher to amp up the agency’s Earth science outreach to kids.

“One of the best parts of this experience is being able to raise awareness to our educators and scientists that students may need additional support to learn,” said NASA intern Maria Royle. “Science does not need to be intimidating for students and there are ways to make learning about STEM topics more engaging and accessible.”

Royle, from Charleston, South Carolina, used her skills as a high school English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and science educator to help revamp My NASA Data teacher resources this summer.


Read the full article here.


Blue Origin Launch & Star Trek: Truly Shooting for the “Final Frontier”?

The 90-year-old actor William Shatner, best known for his leading role as Captain James Tiberius Kirk of Star Trek: The Original Series, is headed to space, for real this time. Shatner will be launched off this Wednesday by on-again-off-again richest man in the world Jeff Bezos’s private aerospace company Blue Origin.

The entire premise of Star Trek was utopian: it pushed the limits of diversity, progressivism and inclusion on television and the science fiction genre. That Shatner would be affiliated with Bezos feels like a contradiction. And yet, colonialism and capitalism are too embedded within the culture of the United States for even sacred projects like space travel or Star Trek to remain unsullied.


Read the full article here.


Image credit: BLUE ORIGIN/AFP/Getty Images

Supported by Vermont Space Grant – Lisa Dion Leads Wave of Fearless Girl Coders in VT

ter completing graduate school at the University of Michigan in 2016, Lisa Dion cast about for a summer internship before taking up her duties as a lecturer at UVM. Then an ad for a program called Girls Who Code caught her eye.

“Women are definitely underrepresented in computer science and working toward gender parity is something close to my heart,” Dion said.

She had never heard of Girls Who Code but was intrigued enough to apply for a summer position. She was accepted and soon found herself in Atlanta receiving a week of intensive training. As a newly minted Girls Who Code instructor, she taught a seven-week course that summer to 20 girls.


Read the full article here.

North Carolina Space Grant Consortium Selects 2021 NC Space Education Ambassadors

NC Space Grant proudly presents the 13 teachers selected as the second class of the North Carolina Space Education Ambassadors (NCSEA) program, offered in collaboration with NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The NCSEA program is building a statewide network of master teachers who deliver NASA educational content to their local students, schools and communities.

NC Space Grant partners with NASA education specialists from NASA Langley and other NASA field centers to provide NCSEA educators with intensive professional development in current NASA Next Gen STEM education themes. The teachers will participate in professional development and earn NASA digital badges.

Read the full article, including quotes of all 13 selected educators, here.