NASA Puerto Rico Space Grant Supported Student Team Sends Satellite to Space

After several years of hard work, a group of Puerto Rico students aim to see the launch of the first Puerto Rican-made satellite into space.

The group from the School of Engineering of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón campus, have provided their CubeSat NanoRocks-2 project, known as PR-CuNaR2, to NASA to fly on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket when it looks to launch from Kennedy Space Center early Saturday morning.

The launch from KSC’s Launch Complex-39A is slated for 3:37 a.m. with a backup window of Sunday at 3:14 a.m.

This satellite is part of a scientific investigation by the university that began in 2013 with the design and construction prototype.


Read the full article here.


New Mexico Space Grant Team Launches Payload Experiments on NASA’s RockOn! Mission

LAS CRUCES – A payload experiment from New Mexico State University’s Atomic Aggies flew nearly 70 miles above Earth on NASA’s Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket as part of the RockOn! mission.

The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium invited the Atomic Aggies to participate in the mission which was sponsored by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and NASA. The mission was part of the first-ever virtual rocket-building workshops with over 100 participants.

Read the full article here.


Author Credit:

Vladimir Avina
New Mexico State University
Image Credit:
A. Jimenez


Page has served as the associate vice president for creative and scholarly activities at WVU since 2013, and as a board representative for the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR for eight years. She will continue to serve as associate vice president and will be replaced on the board by Duncan Lorimer, professor of physics and associate dean for research in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

“I am excited to step into this role for our state and to continue to build on Dr. Jaridi’s work,” Page said. “It is certainly true in this case that he is a hard act to follow, but I look forward to working with everyone to continue to build on our successes.”

Read the full article here.

Read the “Meet the Director” page here.


Author Credit:

Story by Adrianne Uphold and Candy Cordwell

Image Credit: Candy Cordwell, #WVSGC

Scientists Figure out how the Asteroid Belt Attacked the Dinosaurs

How do you track an asteroid that hit the Earth over 60 million years ago?  By using a combination of geology and computer simulations, at least according to a team of scientists from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).  Those methods might have let them solve a long-standing mystery of both archeology and astronomy – where did the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs come from?

The fact that an asteroid impact was the catastrophe that finally killed the dinosaurs is now widely accepted in scientific circles.  Now known as the “Chicxulub event”, it was named after the 145 km wide crater in the Yucatan peninsula that the 10 km wide asteroid caused when it impacted the planet about 66 million years ago.


Read the full article here.

Author: Andy Tomaswick



Six Habits of Effective Interns

Thousands of students apply for NASA internships every session and a few hundred of them are selected to support NASA missions each session. There are various reasons why a student may be selected for an internship at NASA. The vast majority of interns who are selected achieve their academic success by developing and applying effective work and study habits. For students seeking a NASA internship, we say to keep going, develop new habits like the ones below, and apply what you know to internship projects that align with your career interests. Here are six effective habits of successful interns at NASA that you can aim for today:

1. Set goals for yourself

Once a month take some time out of your busy schedule to set some goals. These can be goals about your career, internship, or projects.


Some good examples of goals are:

  • Take good detail notes
  • Set an hour to check in with your mentor
  • Attend one center event per month
  • Become comfortable with virtual platforms
  • Set some time for training materials each week
  • Learn a new skill about your mission


Read the other 5 Habits in the full article here.

Be sure to reach out to your state’s Space Grant Consortium to ask how they may be able to support you!


Ride Along With Juno Past Ganymede And Jupiter

Ride along with Juno

The Juno spacecraft made its most recent flyby of the giant planet Jupiter on June 8, 2021. Shortly before its closest point to Jupiter – the 34th of the mission, or perijove 34 – Juno flew closer to Jupiter’s large moon Ganymede than any spacecraft has in more than two decades. On July 14, NASA released the beautiful video above. It lets you ride along with the Juno spacecraft on this most recent sweep past Ganymede and Jupiter. The video is gorgeous and evocative. Juno’s principal investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said in a statement:

The animation shows just how beautiful deep space exploration can be. It’s a way for people to imagine exploring our solar system firsthand by seeing what it would be like to be orbiting Jupiter and flying past one of its icy moons.

Read the full article here.

Author: Deborah Byrd

Image Credit: NASA JPL


Blue Origin will fly female aviator Wally Funk, one of the Mercury 13, on 1st crewed launch

Aviator Wally Funk wanted to be an astronaut in the earliest days of spaceflight. Sixty years later, on July 20, she’ll finally go to space with Blue Origin.

Funk was one of 13 female aviators later dubbed the Mercury 13 who, in 1961, passed all the exams necessary for admission to NASA’s astronaut corps and lobbied the federal government to send women into space. NASA and Congress demurred and women were excluded from becoming U.S. astronauts for more than a decade; Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space in 1983.

But, if all goes according to plan, in just three weeks, Funk will spend four minutes beyond the bounds of gravity. “I’ll love every second of it,” Funk said of her flight in a video released by Blue Origin. “I can hardly wait.”


Read the full article on Wally funk here.

Author: Meghan Bartels


Live Updates:

Blue Origin will launch its first crewed mission on its New Shepard rocket July 20 to fly its billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and three other passengers to suborbital space and back. Liftoff is set for 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas and will launch Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, Mercury 13 and aviation pioneer Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemon. will bring you all the latest updates of Blue Origin’s First Human Flight here.

Authors: Meghan Bartels & Staff



Here’s why Richard Branson’s flight matters—and, yes, it really matters

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M.—Sir Richard Branson basked in the late morning New Mexico sunshine on Sunday. Beaming his white, toothy grin for all to see, the 70-year-old adventurer looked resplendent in his blue flight suit as he stood alongside the pilots, Dave Mackay and co-pilot Mike Masucci, who had just rocketed him above 85 km.

“I have wanted to do this since I was a child,” Branson said. “But honestly, nothing could prepare you for the view of Earth from space.”

If you think Richard Branson’s space flight on Sunday morning was all about the pomp and simply served to feed the ego of a celebrity billionaire, you would not be wrong. Virgin Galactic hired Stephen Colbert to host the livestream, after all. R&B musician Khalid performed onstage following the mission. It was gaudy. It was showtime. It was absolutely a party.

But make no mistake, this flight was also historic.


Read the full article here.

Author: Eric Berger

Image Credit: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

NASA Space Grant Alumni Highlight – Emily Calandrelli

West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, alumna, Emily Calandrelli, is doing amazing things in the world of STEM Engagement!

TV science star Emily Calandrelli leads Hoda, Jenna and three kids in a fun science experiment featured in her new Netflix show, “Emily’s Wonder Lab.” She hopes the show will inspire kids and especially young girls to find joy and excitement in science.

Watch the News clip here.

Image Credit: #WVSGC

Been there, done that – Gonzalez-Torres experience guides students to real-world thinking in astronautics

“What if this fails?”

“What if that fails?”

“Astronauts doing a hypothetical spacewalk on the moon have suffered a spacesuit malfunction. You have ten minutes to deploy a lunar rescue module that’s five miles away. Your job is to design a module that will effectively be able to respond and rescue them. How do you plan and design it?”

Those are the words of Tomas Gonzalez-Torres, former NASA mission leader and mission control flight director. He’s now an Department of Aerospace Engineering associate teaching professor. Those words cut to the core of what he teaches as part of the department’s astronautics curriculum and reflect the type of critical thinking that senior students are tasked with.

Read the full article here.


Image Credit: Iowa State University

Author: John Burnett-Larkins