NASA is investing more than $14 million in 19 U.S. colleges and universities to expand 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 mathematics.
“These awards help NASA reach students and institutions that have traditionally had fewer opportunities for cutting-edge spaceflight research,” said Shahra Lambert, NASA’s senior advisor for engagement. “We want the Artemis generation to feel excited and ready to join us in solving the scientific and technological challenges of space exploration.”
A 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 educational pathways or adding to 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, project manager.
NASA awarded five institutions a total of nearly $6 million to implement their curriculum support projects. The selected institutions and their proposed projects are:
Passaic County Community College, Paterson, New Jersey
PCCC Urban Climate Change Initiative
Prince George’s Community College, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Establishment of STEM Majors at Prince George’s Community College
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Strengthening IDEAS at a minority and Hispanic-serving institution through research and education for underserved students in partnership with NASA
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, Texas
Remote Sensing and Analytics to Integrate Science Education with NASA SMD to Enhance Student Research Capacity at MSI (RAISE)
University of the District of Columbia, Washington
Developing NASA-aligned curriculum and experimental research for student success in space technology.
The MUREP Space Technology Artemis Research opportunity supports NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) by supporting and increasing MSI participation in research and technology development concepts aligned with the agency’s needs for the upcoming Artemis lunar missions. The agency selected nine institutions and awarded a total of more than $8 million to implement their projects.
“When we return humans to the moon, it will be thanks to the creativity and dedication of researchers across the country,” said Walt Engelund, deputy associate administrator for programs at STMD. “We are proud to partner with OSTEM to support 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:
Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Pomona, California
CubeSat Technology Exploration Program (CubeSTEP)
California State University, Los Angeles
Additive Manufacturing on the Moon: Exploring the Potential of Laser Wire-Directed Energy Deposition for Metal Component Manufacturing
Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, North Dakota
Research and development of devices to support walking in non-vehicular activity
Delaware State University, Dover
Exospheric Water Constraints Using Mid-IR Sensing and LIBS for Lunar Rover Missions
College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California
Penetrolyzer for extracting oxygen and hydrogen from Mars Regolith
Morgan State University, Baltimore
Muscle atrophy Effects of long-duration human research mission on adding vocal folds for airway protection
University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne
DREAM: Development of robotic exploration with Agrobots and Moonbots
University of North Texas, Denton
Protective Thermal Electrochromic Coatings (ProTECC) for Lunar Exploration
University of Texas at Arlington
Rotating Detonation Rocket Engines for Space Propulsion: Integrating Technology Development with STEM Engagement
The International Space Station Flight Opportunity provides a path into low Earth orbit for flight-ready advanced research projects that align with NASA’s science and technology priorities. This opportunity includes collaboration with NASA’s International Space Station Office of Research, Mission Directorates, and Field Centers.
“These awards offer researchers a valuable opportunity to use 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 for the Stimulation of Competitive Research) project manager. “By using the space station as a testing ground, we are accelerating the readiness of these technologies and bringing them one step closer to practical implementation.”
NASA has selected five institutions to receive $100,000 each a total of $500,000 to complete their projects. These institutions and their proposed projects are:
University of Delaware, Newark
Effect of thermal cycling and outgassing on fiber-wrapped silicon photonic transceivers
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks
Effect of microgravity and higher radiation on healing potential and omental metastasis – ISS Flight Opportunity
Nevada System of Higher Education
A compact, non-invasive and efficient vision control system for long-duration spaceflight missions
University of Kentucky, Lexington
KRUPS: ISS telemetry and recovery flight
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
The influence of synergistic spatial effects on the properties of new polymer composite materials
Awarded through NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement and funded by MUREP, which provides resources and activities to support under-skilled students from K-12 through higher education, and EPSCoR, which works with government, academia and industry to improve research infrastructure in selected US jurisdictions.
Both MUREP awards were made through the annual Engagement Opportunities in NASA STEM FY 2023. The EPSCoR ISS Flight Opportunity Award is also an annual challenge. All of the above awards have a three-year term.