Free Online ESA Course: Monitoring Climate from Space MOOC

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/Learn_from_the_experts.jpg"Registration is open for a free online course that provides an introduction to monitoring climate change using satellite Earth observation. ESA has teamed up with FutureLearn, a leading online learning platform, to offer the 'Monitoring Climate from Space' course beginning on 8 June. From their vantage point some 800 km above Earth, satellites provide crucial information on our planet's land, oceans, atmosphere and ice. This information gives us a view of the current state of our climate, and allows us to detect changes over time. The course will focus on the role of satellite data in supporting decisions relating to climate change and sustainable development. It is designed for current and future policy-makers, educators, climate communications professionals and the wider public."

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CubeSats Offer Engineers Unprecedented Access to Space

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/txcubesat.jpg "Steve Provence likes to talk about space, and engineering students at the University of Houston are benefiting from his conversations. The NASA engineer and UH adjunct professor teaches several electrical engineering classes, but also makes time to visit his fellow professors on campus. As an alumnus of the Cullen College, Provence has a history with electrical and computer engineering professors David Jackson and Ji Chen, and their conversations have sparked amazing developments in space engineering education at the Cullen College."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/Pulsar-Wild-Orbit_nrao.jpg"A team of highly determined high school students discovered a never-before-seen pulsar by painstakingly analyzing data from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Further observations by astronomers using the GBT revealed that this pulsar has the widest orbit of any around a neutron star and is part of only a handful of double neutron star systems. This impressive find will help astronomers better understand how binary neutron star systems form and evolve. This pulsar, which received the official designation PSR J1930-1852, was discovered in 2012 by Cecilia McGough, who was a student at Strasburg High School in Virginia at the time, and De'Shang Ray, who was a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland."

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NASA Awards Research Grants for Minority Serving Institutions

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.moon.jpg"NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) has selected 10 minority serving universities for cooperative agreement awards valued at almost $47 million. Award recipients were selected from 76 proposals after a rigorous peer review by education and technical experts. Each university will receive as much as $1 million per year for a maximum of five years based on the availability of funds and satisfactory performance."

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NASA Announces Winning Ideas for Mars Balance Mass Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/mars.2.jpg"A self-employed technical consultant from Texas with an idea to study the Martian atmosphere and a team of engineers from Michigan with a way to study Martian weather are the winners of NASA's Mars Balance Mass Challenge. Ted Ground of Rising Star, Texas, was awarded $20,000 for his idea to study the Martian atmosphere by releasing material that could be seen and studied by other Martian spacecraft in orbit and on the ground. Brian Kujawski, Louis Olds and Leslie Hall, from Grand Rapids, Mich., received an honorable mention and $5,000 for their idea to study Martian weather by looking at wind patterns near the planet's surface."

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Sentinel-2A Photo Contest

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/Colour_vision.jpg"For the launch of Sentinel-2A, ESA is inviting you to take part in a photo contest focusing on the theme of 'colour vision'. Enter for a chance to win a trip to ESA's operations centre for the satellite's launch event. The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed specifically to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission's Copernicus programme. This unique environmental monitoring programme is making a step change in the way we manage our environment, how we understand and tackle the effects of climate change and even safeguard our everyday lives."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/africa.space.jpg(Via Space Generation Advisory Council) "Dear Colleagues: Attached is an announcement regarding a funding opportunity that we would like you to pass on to your undergraduate students. We have been given funding from the IAU OAD to support a limited number of undergraduate science students to do some astronomy modules via distance education through the University of South Africa (Unisa). While registration for semester 2 2015 at Unisa ends already on 20 April 2015, we are now looking for applications for semester 1 2016. Please submit the names of suitable candidates by the end of July 2015 so that students have enough time to register at Unisa. The IAU OAD money will be used to pay for the application fee and the registration fee of suitable candidates."

European Space Agency MOOC: Monitoring Climate from Space

http://images.spaceref.com/news/europe.space.3.jpgESA's first MOOC, Monitoring Climate from Space, is open now for learners to sign up for, with teaching set to begin on 8th June 2015. Over five weeks, a selection of the world's foremost scientists will guide learners through the role of satellite data in supporting decisions relating to climate change and sustainable development. Designed for current and future policy makers, educators and anyone communicating about climate change, the course will aim to give learners a robust understanding of the datasets that should inform their work. As awareness continues to grow of the threat that climate change presents to our planet, the course will also appeal to a wider public interested in examining environmental elements - such as ice thickness, aerosol, sea level and soil moisture - in greater detail.

Learning About STEM 'On-and-Off the Planet'

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nsbri.jpg"How does space travel affect your health? How do astronauts sleep in space? What do astronauts eat in space? How do astronauts exercise in space? These and other questions will be answered by current and former astronauts and scientists during a visit by nearly 200 students to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) that will occur on April 23, 2015. The students, from the DeBakey High School for Health Professions, will participate in an event entitled, "STEM On-and-Off the Planet" as part of an overall program to encourage students to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)."

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Build an Ionic Thruster like NASA Uses for Space Propulsion

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/10b.jpg"An ion thruster produces a flow of air even though it has no moving parts. A version of this seemingly impossible device is used on a larger scale to propel deep space probes for NASA. The advantage to this system over others is that you need only an electrical source to power the device and it has no moving parts so it is almost unbreakable. So why aren't we using this to power our cars, boats, planes, and hovercrafts?"

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2009/s127e007464.s.jpg"Seven teams of high school students competing to have their entrée selected as food for astronauts aboard the International Space Station will meet in the Culinary Challenge at 11 a.m. CDT April 23 in the Space Food Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The teams will prepare their entrées for taste-testing and evaluation. The winning meal will be prepared and packaged for future flight to the space station."

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NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge Winners

"University Gardens High School of San Juan, Puerto Rico, won first place in the high school division of the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, while an International Space Education Institute team of Moscow, Russia, won the college division of the event, held April 17-18, in Huntsville, Alabama. At the end of the two-day challenge, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, both teams posted the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their divisions, with the fewest on-course penalties. In addition to taking home the winning trophies, both first-place teams also received a cash prize of $3,000, courtesy of corporate sponsor, The Boeing Company."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/img_0423.jpg"NASA is extending an opportunity to college and university teams to propose small spacecraft technology projects that they can conduct in collaboration with NASA researchers. This is the second time NASA has issued this type of call after the highly successful efforts that emerged from the first call in 2013. The Small Spacecraft Technology Program is issuing the Smallsat Technology Partnerships solicitation as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate's NASA Research Announcement for 2015. This is opportunity will engage university students and graduate researchers in advancing technology of value to NASA and the nation and help strengthen our high-tech workforce. Proposals are due by June 5, 2015."

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