"Astronomy has long been one of the most accessible sciences for children and adults alike -- around the world people gaze at the Moon and stars with wonder and curiosity, inspired to ask questions about the universe and the world in which we live. "There are a lot of mysteries left, and there are a lot of problems for you students to solve. And I want to be a President who makes sure you have the teachers and the tools that you need to solve them," President Obama said to middle school students, astronauts, and citizen scientists during the first-ever White House Astronomy Night in 2009."
"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD), in collaboration with the Office of Education (OE) National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant) will release the Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) Student Flight Research Opportunity (SFRO) on or about August 21. USIP-2015 solicits proposals from U.S. institutions of higher education to develop an undergraduate-led Project Team that will fly a science and/or technology payload relevant to NASA strategic goals and objectives on a sounding rocket, balloon, aircraft, suborbital reusable launch vehicle (sRLV), or CubeSat launched on an orbital launch vehicle (hereafter referred to collectively as suborbital-class platforms)."
The questions about the origin and type of cosmic particles are not only fascinating for scientists in astrophysics, but also for young enthusiastic high school students. To familiarize them with research in astroparticle physics, the Pierre Auger Collaboration agreed to make 1% of its data publicly available. The Pierre Auger Observatory investigates cosmic rays at the highest energies and consists of more than 1600 water Cherenkov detectors, located near Malargüe, Argentina. With publicly available data from the experiment, students can perform their own hands-on analysis. In the framework of a so-called Astroparticle Masterclass organized alongside the context of the German outreach network Netzwerk Teilchenwelt, students get a valuable insight into cosmic ray physics and scientific research concepts. We present the project and experiences with students.
"A very special week is about to begin for approximately 30 students from Aalborg University, in Denmark, as their satellite - AAUSAT5 - waits to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday 19 August. A few weeks later, AAUSAT5 will be deployed into orbit around Earth, marking the first ESA student CubeSat mission ever launched from the ISS: the pilot project of ESA's 'Fly Your Satellite from the ISS!' education programme. AAUSAT5, a CubeSat satellite entirely built by a university team with ESA's support, will reach the ISS aboard the Japanese HTV-5 cargo vehicle, planned to lift off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan."
"For a few years already, ESA's Education Office is very active in offering university students several educational opportunities related to CubeSat satellites. Up until now, ESA has completed the 'CubeSats on the Vega Maiden Flight' educational programme which involved twelve different CubeSat student teams that were supported by the Education Office, and of which seven student CubeSats were eventually launched on Vega on 13 February 2012. In the period between October 2012 and March 2013, ESA's Education Office also provided support for the test campaign of the HumSat-D student CubeSat. Based on this initial experience, the Education Office launched the Fly Your Satellite! Programme in 2013. Its first edition is currently ongoing, and it aims at launching a few student CubeSats into orbit in 2016."
"They say big things come in small packages, and that's evident with the small satellites that are becoming ubiquitous around NASA centers, university labs and even elementary school science classes. These tiny satellites are relatively inexpensive, which makes space-borne research accessible to more people today than has been possible in the past. NASA is focused on its journey to Mars, and these small satellites are helping us develop the miniaturized technologies needed to reduce unnecessary weight and space aboard crewed spacecraft that could be used for research, life support and other things astronauts will need as they travel to the Red Planet. Closer to home, the technologies developed to work on satellites ranging in size from a refrigerator to a box of tissues could radically change the way we predict weather, provide Internet and television programming and cellular reception."
"Although people have been naming celestial objects for millennia, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the authority responsible for assigning official names to celestial bodies. The NameExoWorlds contest provides not only the first opportunity for the public to name exoplanets, but also -- for the first time in centuries -- to give names to stars. Twenty stars with known exoplanets in orbit around them are among the objects selected to be named. Astronomy clubs and non-profit organizations from 45 countries submitted 247 proposals for the names of the 20 ExoWorlds."
"NASA launched a Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket carrying the RockSat-X payload with university and community college student experiments at 6:04 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 12, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. More than 60 students and instructors from across the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico were on hand to witness the launch of their experiments. The payload flew to an altitude of about 97 miles and descended via parachute into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Wallops. Payload recovery operations began after lift-off."