The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is pleased to announce that its student members now have the opportunity to subscribe to NewSpace Global (NSG) at an immensely discounted rate. NewSpace Global is the world’s leading source of information and analysis regarding the commercial space sector, with subscriptions to this information normally priced at $395 per year. SEDS members can subscribe to this essential information for only $9.95 per month. With this subscription students will have access to NSG’s monthly market tracking report, Thruster, in addition to the NSG Indices and NewSpace Watch. NSG Indices dynamically tracks the top 100 privately owned companies, private companies “on the bubble”, and publicly traded companies, all within the New Space industry. NewSpace Watch provides a daily report of the latest news, events, and announcements within the private space industry, with over 21,000 postings to date. Student members of SEDS can sign up at http://www.newspacewatch.com/signup-edu.php using their .edu email address and the coupon code “NSGEDU”.
Moonandback Travel, Inc. has partnered with the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space to provide space tourism services to SEDS’ membership and alumni. Moonandback Travel has agreed to donate $2,500 to SEDS for every booking referred by SEDS that includes the checkout code SEDS 917 entered on the Travel web site’s booking form. The donations, made to SEDS in the name of the person booking the flight, are for flights on the Lynx spaceplane or ascents to near-space on zero2infinity’s bloon. Information on both experiences can be found on Moonandback Travel’s web site http://takeme2space.com.
Last month social empowerment community GOOD teamed up with Microsoft’s Give For Youth, a program that helps nonprofits crowd fund their youth-focused projects in partnership with GlobalGiving, in the GOOD Maker Challenge for Inspiring Youth-Focused Nonprofits. For two weeks the public voted for the nonprofit organizations whose youth education, employment, entrepreneurial projects they deemed most worthy of funding. The twenty organizations who received the most votes would be able to fundraise on the Give For Youth platform. Between March 18th and March 27th, Microsoft will match all funds up to $100,000 raised by SEDS and the nineteen other nonprofits who are winners of this Challenge. The top three finalists of this second fundraising challenge will receive an additional prize including $5000 in Microsoft Store money and a one-year subscription to GOOD and its cobrands.
SEDS’s winning endeavor in this challenge is STEM Education and Outreach for the Younger Generation. A nonprofit organization run entirely by college students at 40 university chapters nationwide, SEDS strives to create projects to educate K-12 students about the wonders of space in addition to the traditional fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Projects include university symposia, high altitude balloon and rocket launches and launch competitions, space days, and astronomy nights. Humanity’s future is in space and SEDS wants to show our nation’s youth that the sky is not the limit and inspire them to dream bigger.
Founded in 1980 by prolific entrepreneurs Peter Diamandis, Bob Richards, and Todd Hawley, SEDS has grown to over 10,000 members worldwide with alumni permeating the public and private space industry. Many of these alums cite their experiences with SEDS as a primary motivator in their success and endeavors in their careers in the space industry. William Pomerantz, Vice President for Special Projects at Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, writes: “Without a doubt, I owe my career in the space industry to joining my local SEDS chapter as a college freshman. I’ve seen SEDS have a similar impact on many other students, and am proud to have hired several SEDS members and alumni. This organization accomplishes a lot with only a little in the way of resources, and I’m confident they could really scale up.”
On February 8, 2013, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity collected its first rock sample of the Martian soil – the first time in history that a man-made robot to drilled into the surface of another planet. Chemical analysis of the rock powder seems to provide an answer to the fundamental question of whether this planet could ever have supported a habitable environment. According to the lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, Michael Meyer, “From what we know now, the answer is yes.”
The rover had long been scouting out a drilling location on Mars that would be a likely candidate for previous habitation, finally deciding on a spot very near where it had earlier found an ancient streambed in the Gale Crater. In contrast to the highly oxidized and acidic material constituting much of the Martian surface, this rock sample is made of a fine-grained mudstone containing clay minerals, a product of interaction between fresh water and igneous rock. Analysis by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument aboard Curiosity revealed what principal investigator Paul Mahaffy calls an “impressive range of chemical ingredients” indicative of a “possible chemical energy source for micro-organisms.” This is certainly grounds for excitement about a once-habitable Red Planet and subsequent drillings will be conducted to confirm these results, though not until May.
This discovery not only demonstrates humanity’s need for the continuation and enhancement of exploration missions, but also humanity’s desire for such endeavors in space. Excitement over the question of habitation on Mars, and Curiosity’s answer, has surpassed the scientific community and permeated all circles of society and culture internationally. Humanity has seen what one robotic rover can discover when sent to Mars — the time has come to see what humanity can discover when sent to Mars.