Get Involved in Space

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My Favorite Space App – Fun & Educational!

Ever struggled to explain the magnificent size and beauty of our solar system to a child? Or know someone fascinated by the sky? The interactive Solar Walk app makes it easy and fun to explore and understand the solar system. You can navigate through the planets and stars while viewing knowledge on planet’s exploration history, stunning photos, 3D models, videos and more. Users can travel from Mars to Pluto and see all the planets and moons on the way. The app gives a sense of how vast the solar system is and what’s in it.

One of my favorite features is the slider and clock. You can watch Mars rotate, or create a view to watch the planets rotate around the Sun.   There’s even a video that explains the concept of an eclipse.

ImageSolar Walk was an Apple Best App of 2010, 2011, and 2012 and has received awards from parent and teacher organizations. It provides a great experience for children studying the solar system, or for anyone discovering an interest in Astronomy.

For $2.99 in the App Store, you’ll have a wonderful “game” to pull up the next time a child asks to play with your iPad or iPhone.



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Catch the Blood Moon April 14/15th

Monday night the sky will be painted red during a total lunar eclipse while the moon passes behind Earth blocking the sun’s rays from hitting the moon. The red color is created by the way light is bent by the Earth’s dusty atmosphere.


Fred Espenak/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


The entire Western Hemisphere will be able to view the spectacle. The eclipse starts at approximately 2AM EDT April 15th, or 10:58PM PDT April 14th, and will last over 3.5 hours. Totality starts at 12:07 PDT and will offer the best views for about 80 minutes. If you end up clouded out, you can still catch a live stream.

NASA will be running a live web chat during the entire eclipse so that viewers can ask questions and learn about what they’re seeing.  The chat will go live when the eclipse starts.

Plan for a late night and get that camera ready!


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Need a Reason to Visit Colorado Springs?


Why not plan a trip to beautiful Colorado Springs and volunteer at the 30th Space Symposium?  The space conference runs from May 19-22 where global space leaders will discuss commercial space, national security, research, and more.  Past attendees have reported that the event is the place to network and make things happen. 

Registration is close to $2000, but volunteers are able to attend a speaker or panel session after volunteering for 4 hours.  Volunteer requirements are simple: you must be 18 years old, dress appropriately per the volunteer guidelines, and provide two references.  There’s no need to be an aerospace specialist!   Check out the volunteer info here.

If interested in attending as a paying guest, see all the registration details.   Early Bird pricing is still open.

If you already work in the aerospace industry, there’s a form to fill out to draft an email convincing your boss to send you.  Definitely check it out!

So, who wants to attend?

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Jan Free Issue of RocketSTEM Is Out! Like it, Vote for Them!!

RocketSTEM is in its second year of publishing a free space magazine.  I don’t want to give too much away, but the January 2014 issue covers so many exciting topics.  See the article on winged spacecraft to get up to speed on Virgin Galactic’s progress towards launching commercial passenger space missions in 2014 – they just completed a supersonic flight test (see page 34).  The article on the Auroras makes me want to immediately book a ticket to Iceland to see the breathtaking views nature creates due to space weather (see pg 18).  Each issue can be downloaded as a free pdf.


If you love the coverage RocektSTEM is providing, go vote for them to win a small business grant from FedEx.  You can vote once a day.

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Only $20 Now to Be the Envy of Your Friends in 2014!

Who hasn’t heard about Mars One? At the end of 2013 they announced that 1058 out of over 200,000 applicants were selected to proceed to round two for the selection of a crew to make a one-way trip to Mars.  What you might not know is that Mars One has recently added a set of 15 different stickers as a Contributor’s Perk for a $20 donation to raise funds for the effort. These stickers will hold up to the outdoors!  Estimated delivery is March 2014.


Grab these, or peek at other available Perks.  The most popular right now is the Mission Backstage Pass, where Contributors will receive exclusive reports on Mars One studies.  The Mars Orbit Selfie is trailing in second place, regardless of the long wait time –  selfie’s are estimated to arrive in 2019.


Celebrate 10 Years of Mars Rover Exploration Today!!

10 years ago today, the first of our two Mars Exploration Rovers landed on the Red Planet. is having a Rover party to celebrate with trivia, games, and videos.  Let’s take a moment today to appreciate what we’ve accomplished and to dream about where we can go.  You can send a personal message to the scientists and engineers responsible for sending the robots to Mars. Messages will be collected throughout January.  What are you going to say?


Happy Birthday Opportunity!!

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Space Camp Scholarship Applications Open!

Over the Thanksgiving feast why not encourage a student to apply for a space camp scholarship? The deadline is in two weeks!!



The scholarship is open to students in 4th through 12th grade.  Applicants may apply to one of four categories: Financial Need/Disadvantaged, Special Needs, Academic Achievement, or Leadership.  The scholarship covers tuition with room and board for any week long camp in Huntsville, Alabama. 

More than 600,000 students and adults have attended space camps since the program began in June, 1982.  Attending camp is a great way for students to start or support an interest in math and science.  If you know a 4th-12th grader who loves science, pass this on!!  Applications must be submitted by Dec 12, 2013.

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