On December 20, Ryan Brown will walk the stage and flip his tassel with more than 100 other graduates: a senior like any other stepping into the wide world beyond. Brown was never an ordinary college student, though. Beginning his academic career with a GED and eight years in the army, he is the epitome of nontraditional.
While the budget is well over what NASA gets in a year, a Purdue university engineering design class of 40 students presented a plan recently to colonize the moon. It’s called Project Artemis, and according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, it’s the class’s senior project. They’ve even included an 1,100 page final report to present to NASA administrators. The students estimate NASA would need a budget of $550 billion, making implementation a long shot since the administration’s total annual budget hovers around $18 million.
But NASA has been interested in the group’s projects for years, according to the article. This year, some administrators listened in to a presentation of the plan from speakerphone in Houston. Project Artemis involves research, development, and construction until the year 2024, which is when cargo payloads and everything needed to establish colonies would be launched. The colonies would explore and live on the Moon for four years before returning back to Earth.
The Exploration Habitat Academic Innovation Challenge, or X-Hab competition, is sponsored by NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation and gives undergraduate engineers a chance to design, manufacture, assemble, and test concepts that could potentially be used in deep space habitats.
X-Hab is now taking applications for the 2015 competition, and the deadline is April 30. Student teams must submit a plan for the design, manufacture, assembly, and testing of prototype systems that enable habitation and spacewalking capabilities for extended deep space missions on NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Orion is designed to carry astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, including missions to an asteroid and Mars.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) now makes it easier than ever to find student internships, fellowships, and other projects through their One Stop Shopping Initiative website. The website lists all internships, fellowships, and other student opportunities that NASA has to offer, including non-technical roles, and also allows users to create one universal profile for applying to multiple opportunities.
NASA internships can be full or part-time, conducted at a NASA facility, contractor facility, or anywhere activities are ongoing to advance NASA’s missions. Mentors can be civil servants, contractors, or faculty conducting activities directly related to NASA’s unique assets and ongoing mission activities.