John Mathers Nobel Scholars – Call for Applications

What: John Mather Nobel Scholars Program

Who: Current interns at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Awards: $3,000 Travel Allowance for Presentation of Research

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.

NASA Mars rover spots iridescent ‘mother of pearl’ clouds

Mars has a lot of wind and dust devils, but, unlike Earth, it’s not really famous for its clouds. That’s one reason a collection of Martian cloud images from NASA’s Curiosity rover is so stunning.

Scientists had noticed clouds starting to form on Mars earlier than expected, so this year they laid in wait to make sure Curiosity could capture the ethereal formations, some of which took on very colorful characteristics.

Read the full article here.


NASA Interns Gain Valuable Skills

The Spring 2021 NC Space Grant-funded NASA interns are looking back at their accomplishments in the past semester. Although their internships were remote, they took advantage of the unique opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and skills.

“Through their sponsorship of internships at NASA centers and facilities, NC Space Grant is instrumental in the agency’s efforts to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Lynnette Bishop Madison, NASA Office of STEM Engagement internships manager.

Read the full article here.

Indian Paintbrush Elementary Participated in High-Altitude Balloon Launch

LARAMIE, Wyo. (May 6, 2021) – Third grade students at Indian Paintbrush Elementary School (IPES) participated in a high-altitude balloon launch in conjunction with the University of Wyoming (UW) NASA Space Grant Consortium this morning. The event was planned to be a fun event that rounded out the students’ weather science unit.

Third grade students created payloads that were attached to a parachute and then attached to the balloon. The UW team sent up GPS tracking devices and cameras so students can see how high and how far the balloon went. Then, when the balloon is collected, they can watch on what happened to the balloon by replaying the cameras’ videos.

Read the full article here.


Image credit: Wyoming Space Grant and Indian Paintbrush Elementary School

This Mother’s Day, Meet Some of the Moms Who’ve Gone to Space

Throwback to an article from 2018 – Happy Mother’s Day!


This year for Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the moms who have launched — or will launch soon — into space. From Anna Fisher, the first mother in space, to Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who will take her first trip to space on June 6, these fearless women build and support their families while working to advance science and society through groundbreaking research and exploration. This isn’t a comprehensive list, for sure, but one we’ll add to over time.


Read the full article on here.

Touchdown! SpaceX successfully lands Starship rocket

SpaceX managed to land its prototype Starship rocket at its Texas base without blowing it up on Wednesday, the first time it has succeeded in doing so in five attempts.

The test flight represents a major win for the hard-charging company, which eventually wants to carry crew inside Starship for missions to Mars.

“Starship landing nominal!” tweeted founder Elon Musk triumphantly, after the last four tries ended in big explosions.

“Nominal” means normal in the context of spaceflight.

Read the full article here.


Image Credit: SpaceX

What going to the moon taught Michael Collins about Earth

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died Wednesday after battling cancer. In 1969, he stayed in lunar orbit alone for over 20 hours while fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first landing on the moon. Collins said he had no regrets, he was focused on making sure his crewmates could return home. Miles O’Brien spoke with Collins for the 50th anniversary of the historic flight.


Read the full article, listen to the segment, and view the video here.


Image Credit: New York Times

Celebrate Earth Day 2021 with NASA

For Earth Day 2021 (April 22), NASA highlights science and technology that is helping us live more sustainably on our home planet and adapt to natural and human-caused changes. Here’s how to participate.

To celebrate Earth Day 2021 (Thursday, April 22), NASA is hosting a virtual Earth Day event – from Wednesday, April 21, through Saturday, April 24 – focused on how to live more sustainably on our home planet, and exploring the connections between Earth’s atmosphere, water cycle, forests, fields, cities, ice caps, and climate. The program – called #ConnectedByEarth – will feature live presentations by NASA scientists, conversations with astronauts and scientists working in space, videos, interactive science content, a kid-friendly fun zone, a scavenger hunt, hundreds of downloadable resources, and more. Some content will also be available in Spanish.

Registration is free and open to the public. Register to participate here.

Read the full article here.

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Succeeds in Historic First Flight

Monday, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet. The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at 6:46 a.m. EDT (3:46 a.m. PDT).


“Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “The X-15 was a pathfinder for the space shuttle. Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover did the same for three generations of Mars rovers. We don’t know exactly where Ingenuity will lead us, but today’s results indicate the sky – at least on Mars – may not be the limit.”


Read the full article here.

60 years of human spaceflight brings in tech changes and emphasis on diversity


By Elizabeth Howell

If spaceflight used to be viewed as a race between the Soviet Union and the United States, the language today tilts toward imperfect diversity.

Yuri Gagarin’s Vostok-1 mission roared into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in what’s now Kazakhstan 60 years ago today (April 12) in 1961, ushering in a brief-yet-intense competition between the Soviets and the Americans for space supremacy that today we call the “space race.” Simply put, during an incredible decade of innovation, government-funded well-chiseled astronauts rode early rockets to Earth orbit and — for a select few — to the moon’s surface.

But framing the “space race” in those terms ignores a more nuanced reality. For example, U.S. President John F. Kennedy did call for Soviet collaboration on lunar missions before his assassination in 1963. An independent group of female test pilots who came to be known as the Mercury 13 unsuccessfully attempted to infiltrate NASA’s astronaut corps in the same decade, while female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova made it to space in 1963.

Read the full article here.

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Image Credit: NASA