Dr. Sara Nelson, smiling for a professional headshot wearing a black blazer

New Iowa Space Grant Consortium Director Named – Dr. Sara Nelson

The Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) has announced Dr. Sara D. Nelson as its new director. The NASA-supported agency is part of Iowa State’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and works to improve and inspire Iowa’s involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

Nelson has previously served as the ISGC as NASA Iowa EPSCoR interim director and assistant director for education and outreach. Nelson also holds a faculty position in Iowa State’s School of Education and conducts research in STEM education and uses her expertise to work alongside the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program, developing STEM educational programs and STEM literacy outreach across the state of Iowa.


Read the full article on the ISU website here.


Author Credit: John Burnett-Larkins

Image Credit: Iowa State University College of Engineering News

NASA’s 2023 annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge asks college students to design technologies that will support a metal production pipeline on the Moon – from extracting metal from lunar minerals to creating structures and tools.

NASA Space Grant Collaboration w/ STMD and GCD Makes Strides in Team Challenge

Seven university teams were selected to develop concepts supporting metal production on the Moon in NASA’s 2023 annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge: Lunar Forge.

The awards total about $1.1 million, with values between $120,000 and $180,000 based on each team’s proposed concept. The challenge is a unique collaboration between NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s (STMD) Game Changing Development (GCD) program and NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement Space Grant Project.

Read the full article on NASA.gov.


Image Credit: NASA/Advanced Concepts Lab

Article Credit: Editor: Loura Hall

Connecticut Space Grant Consortium Awards Grants to Engineering Students

Trinity College engineering majors Kevin Clark ’23 and Ananya Swamy ’23 recently received student project grant awards from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium (CTSGC).

Working on their senior capstone projects this year, the students have the opportunity to develop innovative engineering projects with the help of their group members, project advisers, and now the added support of NASA grant funds. The CTSGC is a federal program that provides funding and internship opportunities for students and faculty in Connecticut.

As the representatives for their projects, Clark—a physics and engineering major with a concentration in mechanical engineering—and Swamy—an engineering major with a concentration in computer engineering—submitted their grant proposals in October 2022. Clark received a $1,500 grant for his group’s project, “Geothermal Energy Systems,” and Swamy received a $1,075 grant for her group’s project, “Muscle Activation Visualization System for Microgravity Environments.”

Read the full article on trincoll.edu



Delaware Space Grant Alumna Helped Prepare the James Webb Space Telescope


 Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and courtesy of Elaine Stewart and NASA 

UD engineering grad Elaine Stewart helped prepare the James Webb Space Telescope

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Dec. 23, two days before an international team successfully launched the James Webb Space Telescope.

Already it has traveled thousands of miles — by land and sea — to reach its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Now, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is pointed toward the sky for a million-mile journey that scientists say could tell us more about the origins of the universe than has ever been possible before.

Read the full article here.

North Dakota Space Grant Consortium Student Earns Prestigious Fellowship

Sydney Menne, a UND senior and one of the University’s most honored current students, has landed yet another prestigious fellowship.

The 2023 Marshall Scholar and Rhodes Scholarship finalist from Shoreview, Minn., has been awarded the 2023 Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship. She’ll intern this summer at the space launch company Astra in Alameda, Calif.

Menne is one of only 30 students among more than 250 applicants from 90-plus colleges to be selected for a paid internship at one of several leading commercial space companies.

Read the full article on UND Today.


Author Credit: Janelle Vonasek

Image Credit: Virgin Orbit

Image Description: Sydney Menne, a UND senior and double-major in Physics and Mathematics, has earned a 2023 Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship. The University of North Dakota’s first-ever Marshall Scholar will intern this summer at the space launch company Astra in Alameda, Calif., before beginning her master’s degree program at England’s University of Southampton this fall. In the photo, Menne stands on the factory floor of Virgin Orbit in Long Beach, Calif, where she worked with the propulsion engineering team last summer as a Brooke Owens Fellow.

Wyoming Space Grant Consortium visits Powell Middle School

Powell Middle School sixth grade students learned about the effects of radiation Thursday and Friday thanks to a visit from NASA representative Megan Candelaria and University of Wyoming graduate student Buck Scougale.

The visit came following the sixth graders completion of their Artemis 1 research projects. Artemis 1 was an unmanned flight conducted by NASA in early December 2022. Sixth grade science teacher Necole Hanks had reached out to the University of Wyoming’s science initiative about sending scientists to help her students learn about the effects of radiation related to space travel.  

Read the full Powell Tribune Article online.


Author Credit: Braden Schiller

Image Credit: Braden Schiller

Image Description: Powell Middle School sixth grader Breiyah Bonander (from left) watches NASA representative Megan Candelaria demonstrate a radiation based activity using a cloud chamber. Sixth graders Blake Bessler and Autumn Allred also watch intently to see how the artificial contrails behave.

MSU Native Student Preview Day – Co-hosted and Sponsored by Montana Space Grant Consortium

BOZEMAN – Montana State University will host high school and transfer students from all over Montana at Native Student Preview Day on Monday, Jan. 23. The event is designed to offer Native students a culturally relevant campus visit experience and provide in-depth information about what it’s like to attend MSU.

Kristie Russette, outreach coordinator and recruitment specialist for MSU’s Native American Studies program, said MSU continues to increase resources for Native students as their enrollment grows. Organizers will showcase those resources, including American Indian Hall, which celebrated its grand opening in October 2021.

Read the full article on Montana.edu

Image Credit and Image Description: Montana State University students study and socialize in the American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Services Center in the American Indian Hall on campus, Friday, May 6, 2022, in Bozeman, Montana. MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

UMaine Space announces new seed grant awardees

The UMaine Space Initiative is pleased to announce recipients of a new seed grant program created to encourage innovative and interdisciplinary collaborations that result in rapid planning, team development, and research coordination in supported topical areas.

UMaine Space administers an Ideas Lab program for the state of Maine, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Maine Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Ideas Lab, and UMaine’s Office of Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School.


Read the full article on the UMaine.edu.


Image Credit: UMaine Space


Image Description: Three individuals are pictured in astronaut suits. Two suits are orange and the center person is wearing a white suit. Each suit has a NASA patch on the chest and an American flag patch on the shoulder.


Delaware Space Grant – Innovation for the Nation

‘UD Day in DC’ shows federal partners the powerful impact of research

WASHINGTON — Just a few hours after the United States Senate ratified a critical environmental treaty with the potential to slow global warming and accelerate manufacturing in the U.S., two Delaware leaders of that effort — Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons — met with researchers and alumni of the University of Delaware to celebrate the science that makes such progress possible and the Delaware connections that helped make it happen.

The event — UD Day in DC — is designed to demonstrate the impact of federally funded research and is a valuable resource for legislative aides and officers of federal agencies.

Read the full article on University of Delaware – UD Daily.

Image Credit: Evan Krape

Author Credit: Beth Miller

Dr. Morba Jah, former ERAU Space Grant Intern, awarded a MacArthur Fellowship

AUSTIN, Texas — Moriba Jah(link is external), an astrodynamicist, space environmentalist and aerospace engineer at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, often referred to as the “genius grant.” The award recognizes Jah’s work to track and monitor the more than 30,000 human-made objects orbiting the earth.

Jah is one of 25 individuals selected for the five-year fellowship — a no-strings-attached “investment in a person’s originality, insight and potential.”(link is external) Recipients are nominated based on proven talent and extraordinary originality and dedication to their creative pursuits.


Read the full story on the Arizona Space Grant Consortium website here.


Author & Image Credit: UT News (The University of Texas at Austin)