Four New Zealand tertiary students have been accepted into the NASA International Internship Programme and have been awarded New Zealand Space Scholarships.
According to a recent press release, the standard of applications demonstrates the high quality of New Zealand’s tertiary education and the way students are prepared to achieve at the highest level in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
New Zealand Space Scholarship
The New Zealand Space Scholarship has primary goals they wish to achieve. These are:
- Supporting high-achieving students in space-related activities
- Build Capability in New Zealand’s space economy
- Strengthen the connection with the global space network
The internships will begin in June and will run for 10 weeks. The students will be based at the NASA Ames Research Centre in California’s Silicon Valley.
The recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are able to participate in this programme as a result of a contractual agreement between the country’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The Ministry selected the candidates. NASA then selected from a broader pool of international applicants that include the candidates selected by the Ministry.
The scholarship covers the costs of the internship, including airfares to the United States, accommodation, living expenses and visa-related fees.
During their internships, the students will publish regular blogs hosted on the New Zealand Space Agency website.
Through that medium, they will be sharing their experiences with other students, scientists, researchers and space industry professionals.
The New Zealand Government is committed to building an innovative and disruptive space industry in New Zealand and that vision includes supporting students as they pursue research in space-related fields at the highest levels.
They are the future innovators, entrepreneurs and space scientists, and hopefully they will play a vital role in developing a thriving domestic space industry.
The 2019 Space Scholarships are part of a pilot and an assessment will be made at the end of the year whether to continue them.
One of the four students who were granted the scholarship and opportunity to take part in the NASA internship came from the University of Waikato.
Monitoring health in space
As reported, Rosemary Swears, the only woman recipient, will be carrying out her research which will help improve the monitoring of astronauts health in space.
It involves making and testing a sensor device that can be printed onto paper in situ and on demand, instead of being sent up from Earth when it is needed, or being forced to take a heavy clunky gadget into space.
The device will be used to detect the biomarkers that enter the bloodstream during a cardiac event, to monitor astronauts’ health.