26 Oct UW – Green Bay selected by NASA for space colonization and technology grant, Is Sheybogan the final frontier?
GREEN BAY – When it comes to space exploration the Green Bay, Wisconsin area is becoming a major a hub for space travel, research, education and technology development. Is Sheboygan the final frontier?
NASA has selected the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay as one of 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.
In 2005, WTN News reported that a spaceport could open in Sheboygan in next 10 years. In April 2006 Gov. Jim Doyle signed Wisconsin SB 352 into law. The bill creates a Wisconsin Aerospace Authority and also allows for a board of directors to be created to further investigate a potential spaceport at the Great Lakes Science and Aerospace Education Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The facility would be a gateway for space travel or, in other words, an airport for rockets. The authority is in the process of applying for additional funding as well as federal and local approval for a suborbital launch, all within the next five years. The authority’s plan also includes more down-to-earth efforts, such as seeking private funding and looking into tax incentives to attract aerospace industries to Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) located at UW – Green Bay announced earlier this year a Student Rocket Design Competition. This competition is an opportunity for students to design and construct rockets to be launched at a competition in the spring of 2010.
The NASA Ralph Steckler Space 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.
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.
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.
NASA also selected proposals from these institutions:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge
- Desert Research Institute in Reno
- Montana State University in Bozeman
- New Mexico State University in Las Cruces
- Ohio Aerospace Institute in Cleveland
- Old Dominion University Research Foundation in Norfolk, Va.
- Pennsylvania State University in University Park
- Texas Tech University System in Lubbock
- University of California in San Diego
- University of Central Florida in Orlando
- University of Hartford in West Hartford, Conn.
- University of Idaho in Moscow
- University of North Texas in Denton
Wisconsin Student Rocket Design Competition
Engineering teams will compete to design a single stage, heavy-lift rocket. The rocket must attain a minimum altitude of 1500 ft. and be recovered safely and in flyable condition. The rocket will require an electronically deployed parachute recovery system. The winner of the flight portion of the competition will be the team whose rocket completes a successful flight and has the largest total mass without the motor installed. The competition will also include design analysis, oral presentation, and assessment of data results, scored by professional engineers from both academia and industry.
The mission of NASA’s Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium is to implement a coordinated statewide program of education, research, and outreach programs to maintain and enhance America’s leadership and Wisconsin’s future in space and aerospace science, design, and technology. To carry out this mission, WSGC sponsors a broad range of programs relevant to its mission and objectives. Further information about the mission and objectives of the WSGC may be found in the National Space Grant Strategic Plan and the NASA Directorate Goals.
For more information about NASA’s education programs visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education