Category Archives: News and Announcements

2022 FAA CHALLENGE– Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition

The 2022 FAA Challenge focuses on Smart Connected Aviation, providing undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to design, build, and test smart technology that has the ability to improve travelers’ transportation experiences and the efficiency of the national aviation ecosystem.
Through the Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition, FAA seeks innovative ideas from the academic community that take advantage of a future info-centric National Airspace System (NAS), including connected aircraft, that will benefit NAS users in the following four categories:
Commercial Air Transportation; General Aviation; Emerging Operations; Traveling Public
Interested teams and their faculty advisors are invited to submit a non-binding Expression of Interest (EOI) by 11:59 PM ET on Friday, October 15, 2021.
Teams who submit an EOI by the deadline will be invited to a Q&A Session with theFAA Challenge Steering Committee and Challenge Program Team.
Submit an EOI
Participating student teams will compete by submitting a Project Plan Proposal in January 2022. Finalist teams will be selected in February and receive a travel reimbursement up to $6,000 to offset the cost of traveling to the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey in June 2022 to demonstrate their concepts.
A Finalist team will be selected for each Category.
Four Finalist teams will receive a $10,000 cash prize and will be invited to compete for an additional $15,000 Best Overall prize at the 2022 FAA Challenge Forum!
Please contact FAAchallenge@nianet.org with any questions.

NASA SPACE FOOD WEBINAR

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Oct 12, 2021, 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Space Food

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hoooZbt-TLq8zW4K4WTMvw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Event Description

What do astronauts eat to maintain a healthy but delicious diet in space? How do we grow nutritious crops in harsh conditions far from Earth? How can future lunar or Martian exploration missions provide enough food for their crews? And can these challenges help us improve food systems on Earth? You can be a part of answering these questions at any age and educational level!

This educational event will pique and satisfy your curiosity regarding questions like these and more by hearing from and asking questions of scientific experts, former NASA astronauts Alvin Drew and José Hernández, and people of all ages taking part in the innovative technology developments of the Deep Space Food Challenge and the citizen science experiments of the Plant the Moon Challenge. You will learn about the incredible advancements in food production technology and how you can be a part of the future of these initiatives.

The event is hosted by the Florida Space Grant Consortium, the Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium, the University of Central Florida, NASA Centennial Challenges Program, and the Institute of Competition Sciences.

About the Deep Space Food Challenge:

In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has conducted the Deep Space Food Challenge to generate new food production technologies or systems that require minimal resources and produce minimal waste, while providing safe, nutritious, and tasty food for long-duration human exploration missions. The Phase 1 winners for this challenge will be announced in late October 2021.

About the Plant the Moon Challenge:

For citizens of all ages daring enough to explore and stretch the limits of human possibility, the Plant the Moon Challenge is the perfect place to explore what it takes to grow nutrient-rich crops in lunar or Martian soil simulant as support to NASA’s Artemis program with the goal to return to the Moon in this decade. Teams of all ages (elementary, middle, high school, undergraduate, and professional categories) get the opportunity to explore this in a fall, spring or summer grow season. The next season begins in January 2022

First Nations Launch 2022

NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) is pleased to announce the 13th Annual First Nations Launch (FNL) National Rocket Competition, an Artemis Student Challenge.   This competition is an opportunity for students attending a Tribal College or University (TCU), a Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution (NASNTI), or who are members of an active American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) collegiate chapter to design, build, and fly a high-powered rocket to be launched at a competition at the Richard Bong State Recreational Area in Kansasville, WI.   The Spring 2022 competition, scheduled for April 22-24, 2022, hosts three challenges:  Gateway, Moon, and Mars.  The Gateway Challenge is a new challenge specifically designed for teams to construct a pre-selected dual-deploy kit rocket in a single semester with less intensive reporting requirements.  The Moon Challenge is ideal for teams participating in the competition for the first time or who have all new team members.  The Mars Engineering Challenge provides a higher degree of technical challenge for experienced teams and/or engineering teams.  The best performing team in the Moon and Mars Competitions will be extended an invitation for a specially arranged tour of a NASA center. One team will be selected to attend Colorado Space Grant Consortium’s RockOn! Program hosted at Wallops Flight Facility and one team will be eligible to compete in NASA’s Student Launch program Spring 2023 at Marshall Space Flight Center.   

WSGC will sponsor up to twenty-four (24) teams to participate in the First Nations Launch competition.  The faculty advisor will need to register on the WSGC website and apply to the First Nations Launch program by submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) to compete. https://spacegrant.carthage.edu/first-nations-launch/application-process/  The Moon and Mars Challenge NOI must be submitted by October 22, 2021.  The Gateway Challenge NOI must be submitted by December 7, 2021.  

WSGC will provide each competition team a low-powered model rocket for flight demonstration, two reloadable rocket motors, and the motor casing per competition flight parameters.  In addition, teams will be awarded up to $4,000 for travel and project expenses.  The team advisor will receive up to a $1000 stipend.   Each new school registered to compete will receive two reference resources:  Model Rocket Design and Construction Third Edition and Modern High-Power Rocketry 2. 

Teams that submit an early bird non-binding Notice of Intent to compete by September 27, 2021, may register up to three (3) individuals (advisor, team lead, team member recommended) to attend the First Nations Launch 2 Learn Level I High-Powered Rocket Certification Workshop October 8-10, 2021, at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. The workshop is limited to 30 participants. Participants receive a Level I Caliber-ISP 38 MM Rocket Kit, Motor, Level I Tripoli Rocketry Association Certification upon a successful flight, meals, lodging, and travel expenses.  Registration for the workshop must be submitted no later than September 27, 2021.  

First Nations Launch is a NASA Artemis Student Challenge program.  NASA is committed to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math opportunities for everyone.  Interested teams do not need prior experience to participate in this program.  Those seeking help in getting started are highly encouraged to contact Frank Nobile (Maxq3@aol.com), FNL Technical Advisor, Mark Abotossaway (mark.a.abotossaway@gmail.com) FNL Advisor Liaison, Genevieve Bennally (genevieve.bennally@gmail.com) FNL Project Assistant, or Bob Justus (bob@mhbofni.com) of Tripoli Rocket Association.  To learn more about this unique NASA opportunity, please visit spacegrant.carthage.edu/first-nations-launch.  If you have any further questions, please contact the WSGC office for more information and/or attend a Zoom Informational Meeting, September 14, 2021, or October 19, 2021, @ 4:00 pm (CDT).

Gateways to Blue Skies Competition

The Gateways to Blue Skies: Airports of Tomorrow (aka: Blue Skies) competition is NASA’s newest design
competition! The Blue Skies competition is seeking ideas and designs for the evolving airports of 2050
(focusing on the exterior of the airports) as we push towards climate-friendly aviation and new
emerging aviation markets of the future.
Finalist teams will receive a $6,000 stipend to facilitate full participation in the 2022 Blue Skies Forum at
NASA’s Langley Research Center June 1 – 2, 2022.
But wait…there’s more! As the challenge prize, NASA is offering 6 internship opportunities within its
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate!
Through Blue Skies, NASA hopes to reach as many college students as possible. Submissions from ALL
academic levels (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate) are highly encouraged and anticipated. The purpose of this competition is to get college students thinking about how the climate-friendly aviation technologies of tomorrow will change the airports of 2050.
For more information visit eSkies.nianet.org
View the Sneak Peek Flyer

NASA’s TechRise Student Challenge: 6-12th grade

Announcing NASA’s TechRise Student Challenge

NASA is initiating a new competition for the 2021/2022 school year, asking student teams to design, build, and launch experiments on suborbital rockets and balloon flights. 

The NASA TechRise Student Challenge will start accepting entries August 18, 2021. Teams of sixth to 12th-grade students from U.S. public, private, or charter schools can submit ideas for climate or remote-sensing experiments to fly on a high-altitude balloon, and space exploration experiments to fly aboard a suborbital rocket. Competition winners will receive $1,500 to build their payloads and an assigned spot on a NASA-sponsored commercial suborbital flight.

Resources for Educators

NASA and Future Engineers, the challenge administrator, will offer a series of virtual events for educators to hear from NASA experts and learn more about this exciting opportunity for students.

·        NASA TechRise educator summer workshops will dive into the basics of electronics, coding, and designing for flight. The first workshop will be Wednesday, July 28, and repeated Wednesday, Aug. 11.

·        The challenge kick-off event was held as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s 8th annual ED Games Expo. Both an excerpt of this session and the full recording are available for viewing. 

To learn more, visit the NASA TechRise Student Challenge website.

Expoplanet Watch- A New Citizen Science Project

Dear Astronomers,

We are writing to invite you and your students to participate in Exoplanet Watch, a new exoplanet citizen science project funded by NASA’s Universe of Learning and led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Exoplanet Watch relies on university astronomy students and amateur astronomers using ground-based telescopes to make observations of transiting exoplanets. This will help keep mid-transit times fresh. With more accurate timing, large observatories and space-based telescopes can make efficient use of valuable telescope time.

The Exoplanet Watch website lists nightly observation targets, but any exoplanet transit observations will work. 

Light curves generated by Exoplanet Watch are shared with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). Observers and data analysts are given credit for their work in any scientific papers resulting from their contributions.

For more information about Exoplanet Watch, visit our website at https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exoplanet-watch/about-exoplanet-watch/overview/

Tiny URL: https://go.nasa.gov/3i0UvAI

Join our Slack Workspace to meet our team and ask questions.

http://uol-ets.slack.com

If you are interested in participating in Exoplanet Watch, please email exoplanetwatch@jpl.nasa.gov to let us know.  Feel free to share this email with other astronomers who may be interested in participating as well. 

We look forward to studying exoplanets with you!

NASA STEM STARS LIVE EVENT 4/7/21

‘NASA STEM Stars’ — Soar Into STEM With Aerospace Engineer Dr. Andrew LindAudience: Students Ages 13+Event Date: April 7 at 2 p.m. EDT
“NASA STEM Stars” is a webchat series that connects students with subject matter experts to learn about STEM careers and ask questions about STEM topics. Join “NASA STEM Stars” for the first in a series of webinars focusing on Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) research. Dr. Andrew Lind, a research aerospace engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, will share how an early love of construction toys and flight simulators led him to get his pilot’s license and pursue a STEM career studying many aspects of aerodynamics and flying machines. From studying how propellers affect fuel efficiency in college to learning about his current role performing acoustic flight tests to make AAM vehicles quieter, we’ll soar through Dr. Lind’s career path and get advice for students interested in pursuing a career in aerospace. Watch the live event and ask questions about pursuing careers in STEM.

Moon to Mars Exploration

Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation (M2M
        X-Hab) 2021 Academic Innovation Challenge Logo

https://spacegrant.org/xhab/
Proposals Due Date: April 23, 2021

Description
The Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation (M2M X-Hab) 2022 Academic Innovation Challenge is a university-level challenge designed to develop strategic partnerships and collaborations with universities. It has been organized to help bridge strategic knowledge gaps and increase knowledge in capabilities and technology risk reduction related to NASA’s vision and missions. The competition is intended to link with senior- and graduate-level design curricula that emphasize hands-on design, research, development, and manufacturing of functional prototypical subsystems that enable functionality for space habitats and deep space exploration missions. NASA will directly benefit from the challenge by sponsoring the development of innovative concepts and technologies from universities, which will result in novel ideas and solutions that could be applied to exploration.

The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Division will offer multiple awards of $15k – $50k each to design and produce studies or functional products of interest to the AES Division (see Section 3.2, M2M X-Hab Proposal Topic List) as proposed by university teams according to their interests and expertise. The prototypes produced by the university teams (examples of which are shown in Figure 1) may be integrated into existing NASA-built operational prototypes. Universities interested in participating will submit M2M X-Hab proposals, which will be reviewed by technical experts; subsequent down-selection will determine which projects will be funded. M2M X-Hab university teams will be required to complete their products for evaluation by the AES Division in May 2022. Universities may form collaborations to perform as a single distributed project team.

Students in the Critical Path
The M2M X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge has a unique approach to student involvement, in that the student team is placed in the NASA mission critical path for the product or technology that they develop alongside NASA researchers. Teams are required to go through a series of NASA-standard assessments as other NASA engineering products, including a System Definition Review (SDR), a Preliminary Design Review (PDR), and a Critical Design Review (CDR). With this approach, NASA is putting a great deal of responsibility on the students. This in turn gives the students a bigger stake in the development of space technologies that likely will form the basis for future systems and technologies that will be flown in space.

Eligibility

Proposals will be accepted from faculty who are U.S. citizens and currently teach an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited engineering senior or graduate design, industrial design, or architecture curriculum teaming course at a university affiliated with the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, or other US accredited university. Multidisciplinary, multi-departmental, and/or multi-institutional teaming collaborations are highly encouraged.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, and other minority-serving educational institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals from women, members of underrepresented minorities groups, and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

STEM Video Contest-Win $1000

The Department of Defense is funding a video contest on hypersonics. First prize is $1,000! All you need to do is to create a 2-minute video on the potential of hypersonic flight (high school category) or the big challenges posed by hypersonic flight (undergraduate category). If you are interested, please click here for more details: https://engineering.virginia.edu/need-speed-hypersonic-video-contest

Entries are due by March 21, 2021.

California Space Grant Consortium Alumna Selected for Artemis Missions

One of our very own California Space Grant Consortium alumna, Jessica Watkins, was recently selected to be part of NASA’s initial 18-member team of astronauts  – nine men and nine women – for the upcoming Artemis missions to the moon.  She was chosen by Vice President Mike Pence to begin training for the return to the moon and explore living on the lunar surface by 2024.

Jessica Watkins was born in Maryland, raised in Colorado and went on to earn her undergraduate degree at Stanford University in Geological and Environmental Sciences. She then pursued her graduate degree in Geology at the University of California, Los Angeles and was a California Space Grant Consortium (CaSGC) fellow in 2010. Her graduate research focused on Mars soil simulant and she had several internships with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL).

“Years ago when Jessica Watkins applied to UCLA for graduate school we were thrilled as she already had shown what a great student she was in her undergraduate institution that to this day has her picture on their walls”, recalls Christopher Russell, Distinguished Professor at the Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We were happy to make her a UCLA Space Grant scholar. And we are proud of her achievements at UCLA which served as a stepping stone to her entering the Astronaut corps and being selected for the lunar program. Her former classmates know that she has further ambitions. She also has her eyes on Mars. We wish her well in all her aspirations and are extremely proud of her and her achievements.” 

The Artemis program is a collaborative effort between NASA and international partners to establish a long term presence on the moon. This lunar base could potentially act as a launching point for further space exploration by mankind. There is also the goal to have the first woman land on the moon. 

The California Space Grant Consortium supports the exploration of space research spanning from pre-college engagement to workforce training. We are excited for Jessica Watkin’s role in this endeavor and proud to have been a small part of her past research experience.