Archive for October, 2009

NASA Selects 18 University Proposals For Steckler Space Grants

Oct. 21, 2009

NASA Selects 18 University Proposals For Steckler Space Grants

HOUSTON — NASA has chosen 18 proposals from universities around the country to receive up to $70,000 for Phase One of the NASA Ralph Steckler Space Grant Colonization Research and Technology Development Opportunity.

Grant money will support university research and technology development activities that support a sustained human presence in
space, increase understanding of the moon’s environment and develop basic infrastructure for future space colonies.

“I’m excited that many of the awards will provide a dual benefit to exploration and to Earth conservation by focusing on important issues
such as water recycling, food production and power storage,” said Frank Prochaska, manager of the Steckler Space Grant Project at
NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA selected two proposals from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and the University of Arizona in Tucson and one proposal from each of the following academic institutions:

The projects selected to receive Steckler Space Grants will be implemented through three funding and development phases. Phase One
will last nine months with a maximum award up to $70,000. The purpose of Phase One is to establish the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of a proposed innovation, research, or technology development effort that could enable space colonization or settlement. Primary exploration elements include habitation, rovers, surface power, communications and extravehicular activity systems.

Phase Two, which lasts two years, will provide a maximum of $250,000 each to four of the most promising Phase One projects through a competitive selection based on scientific and technical merit. The purpose of Phase Two is to begin conducting the research and
technology development effort. Two awards of up to $275,000 each will be given for the third phase, also two years, during which time the Phase Two efforts will be integrated with NASA programs or projects.

NASA received 35 proposals. The agency released the cooperative agreement notice inviting lead institutions of the National Space
Grant College and Fellowship Program to submit proposals for these grants in November 2008. The Space Grant national network includes more than 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts for NASA’s aeronautics and space projects. These affiliates belong to one of 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Ralph Steckler was an assistant film director and photographer from southern California who had a lifelong interest in space
colonization. He left part of his estate to NASA for the colonization of space and the betterment of mankind. Those funds are now providing universities with NASA research opportunities based on his vision.

With this program and NASA’s other college and university programs, the agency continues its tradition of investing in the nation’s
education programs with the goal of developing science, technology, engineering and math skills and capabilities critical to achieving
the nations’ exploration goals.

For more information about NASA’s education programs visit:

Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington

Jenna C. Maddix
Johnson Space Center, Houston

FSGC Board Member Is Awarded

On Thursday (Oct 8th), FSGC board member Tony Gannon attended the Irish American Historical Society Awards in New York city where he received an Education Award in recognition of his work in aerospace education at the Kennedy Space Center. Over 200 guests attended the event including most of the 100 other nominees in the “Irish American Education 100”. VIPs attending included Mr. Niall Burgess Consular General of Ireland, Dr. Hugh Brady, President University College Dublin as well as representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties in New York. Also attending was an assistant to Mrs. Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, who is an honorary member of the Society.

Most of the nominees were presidents and teaching staff from a number of US colleges scattered throughout the US, including St. John Fisher College (NY); Manhattan College; Queen’s College (NY); University of Massachusetts (Boston); University of Dayton (Ohio); Villanova University; Emory University (Atlanta GA); Notre Dame (Indiana); University of Montana;, Boston College; Lehman College; Barry University (Miami); Quinnipiac University (CT);Loyola College (MD); Mellon Financial Corp; Princeton University; Harvard University and Georgetown University, to name a few. Ten of the original nominees were selected as ‘gold’ awardees including Tony Gannon.

Gannon conceived the Space Florida/FSGC Academy programs at Kennedy Space Center several years ago, a program which now has hundreds of alumni, many of whom are working in aeronautics and space research. He also coordinated the Irish Science Challenge programs in Florida which has provided internship opportunities for many Irish science graduates to work at Kennedy, Johnson Space Center and several other research institutions throughout the US. The reception at the Irish American Historical Society was sponsored by the Irish America magazine and the Irish Voice newspaper.

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