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Space Scholarships and NASA's Moon and Martian Programs

Updated on April 3, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

In many ways, music saved my life, and I have the most famous director of the USMC bands to thank for it!


Don't touch our moon sites!

— NASA Officials

The US Space Program is not only alive, it is so far ahead of schedule that NASA issued an edict in May 2012 for other explorers in America as well as international space agencies to leave NASA's offloaded materials and equipment alone on the moon.

Truly, so much is going on in the American space program that the public cannot keep up with the news of it all.

The $30-million Google LunarX Prize project in the early 2010s offered money to research teams that would design Lunar Landing Vehicles with a launch date in 2015. Some of the teams were ready in mid-2012 to launch in early 2013. At that time NASA felt the need to instruct these teams to avoid contact with former Apollo landing sites as stipulated in their official guidelines for protecting historic lunar sites. At the same time, Google will pay bonuses for photos of an Lunar Heritage, Apollo or Surveyor spacecraft site on the moon during the LunarX project (reference).

 MIR: 1986 - 2001
MIR: 1986 - 2001 | Source

Earliest Aerospace Commerce Misfired

Before all this occurred, back in the 1960s Ponderosa Steakhouse out of Kokomo, Indiana and Dayton, Ohio purchased the rights to the first restaurant square footage on the first space station (reference: Ponderosa management training classes, 1970s - 1980s). However, the station was not launched and built for several years. In fact, Space Station Mir took so long to happen that the original Ponderosa agreement expired. It was a moot agreement, anyway, because there was no room on Mir for a restaurant - there was scant room even for a toilet.

Remember MIR? Half of the original station was built in the US using English measurements and half was built in Europe using metric measurements, so the two halves did not fit when they met in space. Other industries have begun in space, including:

  • Space burials have also been a successful commercial enterprise, although many of the containers of ashes have had the history of not reaching orbit.
  • Moon properties have been sold by American and European companies to the extent that the whole satellite has been sold at least twice. However, all of these transactions were not binding, because no company or individual owned the moon and could sell it.
  • NASA reached agreements in the ea\rly 2010s with 63 private sector aerospace companies in 26 US States to join the NASA Commercial Crew. This group worked to bring commercial business enterprises into outer space. At least seven companies designed new space vehicles.

Ponderosa in West Branch, Michigan in 2012. Few are remaining and they used to look like long wooden bunkhouses.
Ponderosa in West Branch, Michigan in 2012. Few are remaining and they used to look like long wooden bunkhouses. | Source

Space Contracts 2012 - 2020

Google and James Cameron signed on to the aerospace mining industry in early 2012.

Another early 2012 agreement was between NASA and SpaceX and became aerospace history history. Elon Musk's SpaceX became the provider of the first commercial cargo delivery system to the International Space Station in May 2012. They successfully reused a booster rocket for the first time in American aerospace history in early 2017.

Other contracts followed swiftly. At the end of May, Intelsat satellite services producer reached a contract agreement with SpaceX for the use of the Falcon 9 rocket that uses nine Merlin engines.

By May 31, TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) became the first company to contract with the US Department of Defense and other federal entities to offer Internet Routing In Space (IRIS) satellite services for commercial satellite communications.

Other contracts accumulated from 2012 to 2017 for Low Earth Orbit and Lunar projects as well as the NASA Mission to Mars. that trained eight astronauts specifically for Martian landings and colonization.

NASA Aeronautics Scholarships

Twenty-five students across the nation were awarded the new NASA Aeronautics Scholarship in 2012 in another tradition that is ongoing for NASA and the US Space Program (see reference link below).

The students receiving these scholarships ion 2012 include Nicholas Hopkins at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio - the Birthplace of Aviation; and two students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Students in a total of 14 US States were awarded scholarships, locations heavily in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Texas, Colorado, and California. The leading states for 2012 are New York and Maryland, with four student scholarships each.

Dayton, Ohio received an additional recognition in Spring 2012 with an award of multiple millions of dollars to refurbish the Wright Airplane Factory in the Downtown District and open it to the public as art of the large national park in this part of Western Ohio that celebrates aviation.

American universities overall have began to award degrees in space related majors that include emphasis on commercial space business and space tourism and new jobs will follow quickly.


NASA Fellowships and/or

Scholarships Deputy Program Manager,

Ames Research Center

Office of Education

Moffett Field, California 94035

NASA concept drawing of a Lunar Habitat called LUNOX
NASA concept drawing of a Lunar Habitat called LUNOX | Source

2013 Exploration Habitat Prize (X HAB)

NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation chose five American universities to participate in their X HAB project. This project encourages research teams to design habitats and related equipment for deep-space travel and colonization. For a look at predictions of these concepts in years past, read the novels in the Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.

The chosen universities for the X HAB Innovative Challenge of 2013 are:

  • University of Alabama in Huntsville: Design and Development of a Microgravity Random Access Stowage and Rack System
  • California State Polytechnic University: Vertical Habitability Layout and Fabrication Studies
  • University of Colorado at Boulder: Remote Plant Food Production Capability
  • Oklahoma State University: Deep Space Habitat, Horizontal Habitability Layout Studies
  • Texas A&M University: Wireless Smart Plug for DC Power



NASA Exploration On Mars

NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity and its in a view eastward across the Endeavour Crater on Mars.
NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity and its in a view eastward across the Endeavour Crater on Mars. | Source

Outer Space Products

Many useful products have merged from the American Space Program since its inception in the 1950s and this trend continues. One product new for 2012 is a test for detecting osteoporosis early on and faster than via the old x-ray technique.

With the University of Arizona, NASA developed this new product, which is a test for trace amounts of bone calcium (isotopes) in urine. It can detect bone in the urine in only a week after bed rest begins. Thus, the problem of bone loss in outer space had led to early testing for osteoporosis among people on Earth and the hope for testing and treatment methodologies for additional bone conditions and diseases in the future (Reference here and OSU Department of Public Health).

Aside from arthritis and osteoporosis, older people often contend with sunspots on their skin, along with wrinkled. the space program may have a solution for these conditions as well.

Controversy : NASA reportedly developed a beverage they call AS10 to protect astronauts from radiation in. University of Utah studies were rumored to have found that AS10 can reverse sunspots and wrinkles. University researchers may or may not have found that four months of a dose of two shots day reduces spots by 30% and wrinkles by 17%. However, the drink is expensive - 25 oz. for $50.00. Ingredients of AS10: acai, acerola, cupuacu, prickly pear, yumberry, green tea, and pomegranate juice. At the same time, NASA and the University of Utah deny all knowledge in 2012 of this product development (reference )- likely the result of controversies over acai and pomegranate/POM products.

Aside from the controversies, it is likely that NASA and its private sector partners will develop dozens of new products for use on Earth and in deep space.

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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