May 2022 Archives

Space College: Who We Are

Space College Foundation, Inc. (Space College) is a Virginia-based nonprofit organization. Our mission is to provide access to educational resources, career opportunities, and hands-on involvement in space exploration. While our main focus is on learning after high school, we strive to support learning about space exploration for students of all ages. Our development activities have been on hiatus since 2017 - but are looking to reboot our effort in 2022. More information on Space College can be found here.

Space College is wherever you are.

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About Space College

Space College is intended to be an educational institution wherein students can be trained for careers in space exploration. The intent is to turbocharge the creation of the next generation of space explorers by expanding access to an overt course of studies focused on space exploration. Unlike other academic and training centers which focus only on classroom studies in one specific location, Space College will reach students regardless of their location. Space College will focus on educating students (and eventually generating graduates) by providing them with a broad, well-rounded background - one suited not just for a career in space exploration, but other professions as well.

Moreover, due to uneven access to institutions and facilities across the U.S. and the world, much of what Space College will do will involve virtual participation i.e. distance learning, massive open online courses (MOOC) etc. for individuals with geographic issues. In the case of established educational and training institutions, Space College will seek to utilize resources already available to students and the utilize offsite and virtual resources to help them achieve the skills they desire. Space College will seek to fill gaps by offering its own courses, training, and eventually, certification.

We believe that:

- space exploration is an adventure that everyone should have a chance to participate in regardless of their age, gender, physical abilities, geographical location, socioeconomic status, or racial/cultural background - and do so in a way that meets their personal dreams, interests, and skills.

- a career in space exploration should be as easy to pursue as any other career and that the same means used to attract, train, and employ people for other careers can be used for careers in space exploration.

- students, teachers, space professionals, and the public should all be able to participate in the development and refinement of space exploration learning tools and teaching materials as well as make use of them.

- use of open source software and designs, combined with crowd-sourced development and citizen science, serve to enhance the learning experience and the development of new knowledge and technology and can instill a sense of community and ownership among all involved.

- the use of Internet and computer-based resources can provide a meaningful educational experience regardless of the location of the participants at a cost that is a fraction of traditional classroom formats. Such means of interaction can provide access faster than traditional "bricks and mortar" can.

- locations on Earth ("planetary analogs") can be used as classrooms for learning how to explore other worlds. These planetary analogs can serve a dual purpose for learning about our own planet and dealing with issues that confront its inhabitants.

- people pursuing space-related careers - or already employed in space exploration - have an important role to serve as ambassadors for - and promoters of - the benefits and excitement that can be derived from space exploration. Everyone can be an evangelist. First rule of Space College: talk about Space College.

- there is value to using old hardware for new purposes. New knowledge can be derived from old data. Mentoring across generations is also important. Lessons learned a generation ago still have value today - and will continue to have value tomorrow.

- science fiction and other popular space-related art forms are an opportunity to engage and educate the public about the true nature and value of space exploration as well as a means whereby the importance of such exploration can be presented to decision makers. While scientific accuracy is crucial to any career, the excitement and inspiration often inherent in science fiction should be seen not as an impediment, but rather as an asset and an opportunity to interest a wider audience to pursue a space exploration career.

- the role of the private/commercial sector in space exploration will continue to expand resulting in a synergistic mix of governmental, commercial, and scientific interests - all conducted by a variety of participants in an ever changing global context. Space College does not take a side but rather encourages private and public space efforts equally with the hope that a dynamic and synergistic expansion of space activities will result.

- the best way to ensure that humanity will continue to explore space is to have an engaged, informed, and empowered citizenry that works to make space exploration happen using whatever resources are at their disposal. People need to embrace space exploration in a personal way such that when investments in space are threatened, people respond to reduce that threat.

- space exploration is an activity that should not only transcend borders but also that it is an endeavor that can serve to bring cultures and nations closer together peacefully to learn and explore.

Space College is wherever you are.

More information on the Space College concept can be found here.

Advancing Diversity in Competed Space Mission Leadership: Report Release and Public Briefing, NAS

Fostering diverse and inclusive teams that are highly skilled, innovative, and productive is critical for maintaining U.S. leadership in space exploration. While NASA has taken steps to advance diversity and inclusion in their workforce, they requested the National Academies undertake a study to evaluate ways they can address the lack of diversity in space mission leadership.

A new National Academies' report, Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Leadership of Competed Space Missions, outlines near and long-term actions NASA can take to make opportunities for leadership and involvement in space missions more accessible, inclusive, and equitable. These recommendations range from changes to the mission proposal process to investments in STEM education and career pathways.

Learn more about the newly released report by joining us for a public briefing webinar on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, from 2-3pm ET. During the webinar, members of the committee will discuss the report's key findings and recommendations and take questions from the audienc

Winners Announced for Lunar Exploration with a Miniaturized Payload Prototype Challenge, HeroX

HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, today announced the winners of the "Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload, the Sequel" Challenge. The Challenge sought designs for miniature payload prototypes that could be sent to the Moon to help fill gaps in lunar knowledge. The first "Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload Challenge" launched on April 9, 2020. Fourteen teams were recognized and rewarded for their innovative approaches to miniature payload development. These fourteen teams were invited to participate in the sequel challenge, which launched on October 15, 2020. From among those fourteen teams, four finalist teams were selected who then relied on crowdsourcing to recruit new team members and fill any resource gaps they might have. Two of these expanded teams completed the next step of the challenge and were each awarded up to $225,000 that was used to develop their proposals into functioning, flight-ready payloads. In addition, a third team was awarded $65,000 to develop their proposal. Two years later, these teams have completed their hardware development and testing, and could one day see their payloads operate on the Moon.

SETI Institute to Recognize 4 Undergraduate Students at Drake Awards Event

The SETI Institute named three undergraduate students as recipients of its SETI Forward Award: Yiwei Chai, Raffy Traas and Zoe Weiss. Mary Clare Greenlees will receive the REU Award of Excellence for her outstanding undergraduate research internship at the SETI Institute.

The SETI Forward Award recognizes outstanding undergraduates studying astrobiology and SETI research. SETI Forward provides scholarship funds to support the next generation of scientists and connects promising students with working researchers.

The REU Award for Excellence honors an outstanding SETI Institute intern. All four recipients will receive their awards at the 2022 Drake Awards ceremony on May 12, 2022.

"We think it's crucial to encourage and enable the next generation of SETI scientists," said Fritz Demopoulos, SETI Institute Trustee. "Without a doubt, our next great breakthroughs will emanate from science and engineering. Let's lean forward and cheer from the sidelines."

Space Foundation Partners with Raytheon Intelligence & Space to Expand STEM Programs

Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, today announced a new partnership with Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, to embolden the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) leaders in Colorado. Utilizing a $50,000 grant from Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Space Foundation will expand two STEM programs that will serve nearly 2,000 students, teachers and young professionals throughout the state.

This summer, Space Foundation and Raytheon Intelligence & Space will launch the Discovery Center Field Trip Scholarship, which will enable students grades K-12 and teachers from Title 1 schools in Colorado to visit the Space Foundation Discovery Center, the region's first and only dedicated space, science and technology center, at no cost. The New Generation program will also expand to include three new leadership exchanges for high school students from underserved communities and provide young professionals free networking, career development, and mentoring opportunities.

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