John Mather Nobel Scholars Program

The John Mather Nobel Scholarship Program was established in 2008 by the John and Jane Mather Foundation for Science and the Arts. The program is open to current NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center based undergraduate and graduate student interns. Each year the program awards travel allowances towards the cost of presenting research papers at professional conferences. Applicants must have demonstrated high academic achievement, have a strong interest in space and Goddard Space Flight Center, be a rising undergraduate junior, senior or graduate student, and be currently holding a Goddard-based research internship.

Selected students will be recognized as John Mather Nobel Scholars and receive a $3,000 travel allowance towards the cost of presenting research papers at professional conferences. Recipients will meet with Dr John C Mather, Senior Astrophysicist and Goddard Fellow and Nobel Prize recipient, and other distinguished individuals.

NC Space Education Ambassador, Joann Blumenfeld Is Fighting to Get Kids With Disabilities Into High-Paying STEM Careers

“Joann Blumenfeld wants to help her high-school students learn the basics of science and math, but she also wants to set them up for long-term success. “I can teach them all the science I want,” says Blumenfeld, a special-education teacher in Raleigh, N.C. “But if I don’t set them up with workforce readiness skills, I’m not really helping them totally.”

There are more than 7 million students with disabilities enrolled in K-12 public schools across the country. But just 19% of adults with disabilities in the U.S. are employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 80% of people with disabilities aren’t in the labor force, compared to about 30% of people without disabilities — a statistic that startled Blumenfeld when she first learned it.”


Read the full article here.

Learn more about the NC Space Education Ambassadors Program here.


Author credit: Katie Reilly

Image Credit: Courtesy Photo

NASA’s New Solar Sail Could Soon Navigate in Space

A project to develop an innovative solar sail has advanced to the final leg of a NASA research program. Phase three of the Innovative Advanced Concepts program (NIAC) will allow researchers to continue exploring and developing a diffractive solar sail for two years with a funding award of $2 million, reports George Dvorsky for Gizmodo. This award could push the solar sail concept, a long-simmering field of research for space exploration only used a handful of times, towards far wider use.

Read the full article on here.

Author: Elizabeth Gamillo

Image Credit: MacKenzi Martin

First Dream Chaser vehicle takes shape

Sierra Space says it is making good progress on its first Dream Chaser spaceplane as the company looks ahead to versions of the vehicle that can carry crews and perform national security missions.

The company provided SpaceNews with images of the first Dream Chaser, named Tenacity, being assembled at its Colorado headquarters. The vehicle’s structure is now largely complete, but there is still more work to install its thermal protection system and other components.


Read full article here.

Author Credit: Jeff Foust, Space News

Image Credit: Sierra Space

New map of the night sky reveals 4.4 million galaxies and other space objects

Repost from

(CNN)Some 4.4 million space objects billions of light-years away have been mapped by astronomers, including 1 million space objects that hadn’t been spotted before.

The vast majority of these objects are galaxies that harbor massive black holes or rapidly growing new stars. Other discoveries include colliding groups of distant galaxies and flaring stars, which vary in brightness, within the Milky Way, according to a news statement from Durham University in England.
The observations were made by analyzing a huge amount of data from the sensitive Low Frequency Array telescope, known as LOFAR, which is using low radio frequencies to observe about a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere’s sky and catalog it in fine detail. It’s operated by ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy.
Author credit: Katie Hunt
Image credit: CNN

Arizona Space Grant Mentors: $10M elevates UArizona hypersonics facilities to national prominence

University of Arizona aerospace and mechanical engineering researchers have received $3.5 million in funding from the state of Arizona’s investment in the New Economy Initiative and $6.5 million in federal support through the Department of Defense’s Test Resource Management Center to upgrade hypersonic facilities and related research infrastructure.

The funding positions the university as a leading educational institution in the hypersonics field, said Alex Craig, an assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering.

“We’re moving our wind tunnel complex into a more capable realm that you typically don’t see at universities, because it’s usually reserved for government facilities like NASA,” Craig said. “With these upgrades, we’ll be able to provide impactful ground testing services to DOD and its contractors, NASA, and emerging private ventures supporting space and commercial travel, while still fulfilling our educational mission.”

Wind tunnels blast air at high speeds past fixed objects, helping researchers better understand how similarly shaped objects, such as aircraft and missiles, behave in flight. Wind tunnel speed is represented by Mach number, with Mach 1 being equal to the speed of sound – about 761 mph at sea level.

UArizona is home to two hypersonic facilities and additional wind tunnels that permit testing from Mach 0 to Mach 5.


Read the full article online here.


Image Credit: University of Arizona



The ISS gets an extension to 2030 to wrap up unfinished business

Last week, NASA announced that the Biden-Harris Administration intends to extend International Space Station (ISS) operations through 2030, extending the US’s previous funding deadline by a few years.

“As more and more nations are active in space, it’s more important than ever that the United States continues to lead the world in growing international alliances and modeling rules and norms for the peaceful and responsible use of space,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a NASA statement Friday.

Read the full article here.

What’s next for NASA’s newly launched James Webb Space Telescope

NASA’s next big space observatory is finally aloft, but it’ll be a while before it starts its highly anticipated science mission.

The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana yesterday (Dec. 25), kicking off a long-delayed, potentially transformative mission to study the early universe, nearby exoplanets and more. Telescope team members (and the rest of us) will have to remain patient, however, for Webb has a lot of work to do before it gets up and running.


Read the full article here.


Image Credit: NASA

North Dakota Space Grant Connects Students to STEM Research through Fellowship Bridge Program

That’s the Big Dipper. That’s the Little Dipper. And not so long ago, that’s about as deep as Lake Region State College graduate Liz Deckert wanted to dip into space science.

But that was before the kinesiology major and future chiropractor transferred this fall to the University of North Dakota, where she landed a NASA-funded Bridge Fellowship through the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium.

Now, just a few months into her junior year at UND, the space rookie from Devils Lake is doing cutting-edge research for NASA’s next-generation spacesuit.

More specifically, she’s testing upper mobility acceleration and range of motion for a spacesuit developed by Final Frontier Design, a company that already has three spacesuit components — boot, hip and waist joints — booked for the next trip to the moon. And though experts have questioned whether the mission will be ready for a 2025 launch, when it eventually does blast off, Artemis 3 is expected to be the first “crewed” lunar landing in more than half a century. The last one was Apollo 17 in 1972.


Read both UND Today articles on the NDSGC Bridge Fellowship program’s latest awardee, student Liz Deckert:



Image credit: Mike Hess/UND Today