|July 26, 2023 |
NASA Awards $14 Million to Universities for Supportive STEM Efforts
NASA is investing more than $14 million in 19 U.S. colleges and universities to grow their STEM capacity to participate in critical spaceflight research and prepare a new generation of diverse students for careers in the nation's science, technology, engineering, and math workforce.
"These awards help NASA reach students and institutions that traditionally have had fewer opportunities in cutting-edge spaceflight research," said Shahra Lambert, NASA's senior advisor for engagement. “We want the Artemis Generation to feel excited and prepared to join us in tackling the scientific and technological challenges of space exploration.”
The new MUREP (Minority University Research and Education Project) Curriculum Award was established this year to help Minority-Serving Institutions strengthen their STEM academic offerings.
"Current research shows that developing new curricular pathways or adding to an existing STEM curriculum can help these colleges and universities attract more diverse groups of students to the kinds of research that align with NASA’s needs,” said Torry Johnson, the project’s manager.
NASA awarded five institutions a total of nearly $6 million to implement their curriculum-boosting projects. The selected institutions and their proposed projects are:
PCCC Urban Climate Change Initiative
Establishing STEM Majors at Prince George’s Community College
Enhancing IDEAS at a Minority- and Hispanic-Serving Institution through research and education for underserved students in partnership with NASA
Remote-sensing and Analytics for Integrating Science Education with NASA SMD to Strengthen Student Research Capacity at MSI (RAISE)
Developing NASA-infused Curriculum and Experiential Research for Student Success in Space Technology
The MUREP Space Technology Artemis Research opportunity supports NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) by fostering and increasing MSI participation in research and technology development concepts that algin with the agency’s needs for upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon. The agency chose nine institutions, awarding a total of more than $8 million to carry out their projects.
"When we return humans to the Moon, it will be thanks to the creativity and dedication of researchers across the nation," said Walt Engelund, deputy associate administrator for programs in STMD. "We're proud to partner with OSTEM to foster the future of technology development and create opportunities for these institutions to contribute to NASA's Artemis missions."
The selected institutions and their proposed projects are:
CubeSat Technology Exploration Program (CubeSTEP)
Additive Manufacturing on the Moon: Exploring the Potential of Laser Wire Directed Energy Deposition for Metallic Component Fabrication
The Research and Development of Extravehicular Activity Gait Assist Device
Constraining Exospheric Water Using Mid-IR Sensing and LIBS for Lunar Rover Missions
A Penetrolyzer for Extracting Oxygen and Hydrogen from Mars Regolith
Muscular Atrophy Effects of Long Duration Human Exploration Mission on Vocal Fold Adduction for Airway Protection
DREAM: Developing Robotic Exploration with Agrobots and Moonbots
Protective Thermal Electro-Chromic Coatings (ProTECC) for Lunar Exploration
Rotating Detonation Rocket Engines for In-Space Propulsion: Integrating Technology Development with STEM Engagement
The International Space Station Flight Opportunity provides a ride to low Earth orbit for mature, flight-ready research projects that align with NASA’s science and technology priorities. This opportunity entails cooperation with NASA’s International Space Station Research Office, mission directorates, and field centers.
"These awards offer researchers a valuable opportunity to leverage the unique microgravity environment of the International Space Station as a platform or testbed, allowing them to conduct authentic spaceflight demonstrations based on their preliminary ground-based research," said Dr. Kathleen Loftin, EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) project manager. "By utilizing the space station as a proving ground, we accelerate the readiness of these technologies, bringing them one step closer to practical implementation."
NASA selected five institutions to receive $100,000 each – $500,000, total – to complete their projects. These institutions and their proposed projects are:
Impact of Temperature Cycles and Outgassing on the Fiber-packaged Silicon Photonic Transceivers
Effect of Microgravity and Higher Radiation on Healing and Metastasis Potential of Omentum - ISS Flight Opportunity
A Compact, Non-invasive, and Efficient Vision Screening System for Long-term Spaceflight Missions
KRUPS: ISS Flight for Telemetry and Recovery
Effect of Synergistic Space Effects on Properties of Novel Polymer Composite Materials
The awards are made possible through NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement and funded by MUREP, which provides resources and activities to support underserved students from K-12 through higher education, and EPSCoR, which partners with government, academia, and industry to improve research infrastructure in select U.S. jurisdictions.
Both MUREP awards were made through the annual Engagement Opportunities in NASA STEM FY 2023 solicitation. The EPSCoR ISS Flight Opportunity Award is also an annual solicitation. All the awards listed above have a three-year period of performance.
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