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SEDS Calls for Action After Chelyabinsk Impact Event

February 25, 2013 in Featured, News, Press Releases by SEDS Public Relations

On the morning of Friday, February 15th, the planet Earth was once again reminded of its vulnerability to the dangers of the universe. An estimated 10,000-ton meteor exploded over the skies of the southern Russian city of Chelyabinsk, releasing nearly 500 kilotons of energy from its entry into Earth’s atmosphere to its airborne disintegration. With injury estimates exceeding 1,000 and a reported 3,000 buildings damaged, it is a staunch reminder of the dangers and risks that we carry every day.

At about 17 meters (55 feet) wide, this meteor is alarmingly small by cosmic standards, described by NASA scientists as a “tiny asteroid.” However it is the largest reported meteor since 1908, when an estimated 100-meter (330-foot) meteor – the largest in recorded history – exploded near the Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. Paul Chodas of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA said an event of this magnitude is expected to occur “once every 100 years on average.” It seems we were due for such an event, and probably should have been expecting it.

The event came less than 24 hours away from the closest approach of 2012 DA14, a 190,000-ton asteroid. 2012 DA14, discovered just last year by amateur astronomers in Spain, will swoop down towards Earth, coming within 17,200 miles of its surface. Our own communications satellites watched as it came within a hair’s breadth of Earth by astronomical standards. If this asteroid were to impact our planet, it could release an explosion around three megatons — almost 200 times more powerful than the blast from the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. While astronomers have been able to determine that 2012 DA14 will not impact us in the future, we should see this flyby as a cautionary reminder of the imminent and omnipresent dangers just outside our atmosphere.

SEA Blitz Calls On Congress to Make Space a Priority

February 22, 2013 in Featured, News, Press Releases by SEDS Public Relations

Next week, the Space Exploration Alliance will call upon Congress to ensure that America’s space program is a national priority in the coming year. Space advocacy groups from all over the country will gather in our nation’s Capitol to convince members of congress of “strong constituent support for an ambitious space program.”

The Space Exploration Alliance (SEA) was formed in 2004 when thirteen of the top space advocacy group joined forces for the first “Legislative Blitz” on Congress. Seventy-six space enthusiasts rallied in support of NASA and space exploration, speaking with over 200 congressional offices on the matter. Now SEA calls on advocates of space exploration everywhere to help convince Congress of the long-term goals and short-term steps required for the United States to reap the economic, technological, and strategic benefits of space. Space exploration has become a necessity in our modern world, no longer an option as it was at the dawn of the space age. SEA’s goals include humans reaching at least one destination beyond low-earth orbit (i.e. the Moon or an asteroid) in the next ten years and landing on Mars by 2030.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the 2013 SEA Legislative Blitz or seeking more information should visit: http://www.spaceexplorationalliance.org/blitz/. Registration is free of charge. SEA will provide registrants with an educational and training session on February 24th in addition to materials for meetings on subsequent days of the Blitz.

SEDS Launches Third Annual High Power Rocketry Challenge

February 18, 2013 in Featured, News, Press Releases by SEDS Public Relations

OctoberSky

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is now accepting registration for teams in the third annual SEDS High Power Rocketry Challenge. This competition is open for participation at no cost to SEDS chapters and SEDS members. Universities not currently affiliated with SEDS are welcome to participate.

The main objective of the competition is to design, build, and launch a rocket capable of carrying a three pound payload to 10,000 feet above ground level. Teams will be judged on time to altitude along with the scientific and technical value of their payloads. Launches will be conducted around the country by individual teams. Teams are responsible for completing comprehensive design and launch reports for presentation to the judging committee. Winners of the challenge will be announced at SEDS’s annual national conference, SpaceVision. SpaceVision is being hosted this year in Tempe, Arizona by Arizona State University SEDS from November 7th-10th.

SEDS In the Running for Microfunding Opportunities for Nonprofits on Give for Youth

February 18, 2013 in Featured, News by SEDS Public Relations

SEDS needs your help! We need you to vote for SEDS in the Good Maker fundraiser campaign at the link below! The top 20 voted profiles will be the only final entries and eligible for donation matching by Microsoft up to $100K! VOTING ENDS FRIDAY, MARCH 1ST! Help SEDS reach out to youth and inspire the next generation!

Don’t delay! Vote here now: http://giveforyouth.maker.good.is/projects/SEDSUSA