April 15th, 2010
Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) commend the Obama Administration for including NASA in the Summer of Innovation program targeting primary school students, but believe the Administration must also take steps to increase the effectiveness of NASA higher education opportunities. Rick Hanton, SEDS Director of Expansion commented, “Outreach at the Middle and High school levels will help keep students interested in science and engineering, but it is the college level opportunities which urge them to pursue a career in the space industry.”

SEDS Chairman Joshua Nelson states, “One of the greatest benefits of NASA is its ability to inspire students to study Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) fields. While budgetary realities limit the money NASA can dedicate to education, there are many cost effective changes NASA can make to encourage the next generation of space professionals.”

Students from SEDS were invited to attend today’s Presidential Space Summit. For this event we generated a list of five changes we would like to see NASA make in its existing and future programs. Specifically we suggest the Administration:

  • Create a ‘one stop’ website containing a list of all NASA internship opportunities, links to the applications, requirements, and deadlines.
  • Create firm deadlines as to when students will be accepted or rejected for NASA internship opportunities.
  • Offer annual scholarships to United States students attending programs which encourage international cooperation in space exploration such as the International Space University.
  • Increase the number of NASA workers hired directly out of college and NASA internship programs as was outlined in the March 2009 NASA Strategic Management Council (SMC) policy.
  • Encourage at least one student designed, built, and operated experiment on each NASA mission, as was done with the New Horizons Dust Counter instrument.

“Incidentally a great inspiration to students in the 2011 budget is the support of the commercial space industry.” Nelson concludes, “Students are excited about the internship and job opportunities this funding will create. With commercial companies taking over the ‘UHaul to orbit’ duties of the Shuttle, they see NASA free to explore beyond Low Earth Orbit.”

Media Contact:
Joshua V. Nelson
Chairman, SEDS-USA
Phone: (203) 610-3378

About SEDS:
The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is the world’s only independent, fully student-run, pro-space organization. Founded in 1980 by students frustrated with the stagnation of NASA after Apollo, SEDS has inspired tens of thousands of students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology. SEDS supports a network of over 25 student chapters across the United States, hosts the largest student run space conference in the world, provides students opportunities to develop their leadership skills and professional networks, and inspires others through their involvement in space-related projects. Alumni can be found throughout the space industry in both traditional and “New Space” companies. For more information visit:

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