This Blog Is Taking Up Space

On any given day as a NASA Education writer I have the awesome opportunity to interview people doing cool things with NASA. Sometimes I talk to astronauts about to go into space or ones who just got back. Sometimes I talk to some of the scientists or engineers who are behind NASA missions that are exploring the universe or learning more about Earth. Most days though, I talk to you — a student who has participated in some awesome NASA internship. Or maybe I interview a student who just got back from feeling weightless on a NASA reduced-gravity flight. (I did that myself last year, so I really enjoy talking about that! My first NASA blog Free Falling tells about that experience.) Sometimes I talk to a whole team of students who built a rocket or an airplane or a satellite with NASA.

I love hearing all the stories these students tell. I sometimes live vicariously through them. I get a boost of excitement from hearing how excited students are to be involved with NASA research, with engineering and with the exploration of space! There really are some neat projects, like students helping NASA develop new rocket technologies, discovering baby stars or aeronautics research that may make it faster and safer for all of us.

We write these stories and post them on NASA’s Web site in a special section just for students. But a lot of times there are stories that go untold, either because of limited space or because even though the story is cool, I can’t include everything from the interview in the article. As a writer who loves a good story, I hate to throw these stories away, so the good folks at NASA are going to let me post them here on Taking Up Space. We chose the name “Taking Up Space” because the students we’re writing about have taken an interest in NASA, and because we think it’s kinda catchy.

This blog will be stories about people just like you – and sometimes stories about people who used to be just like you: the engineers, scientists, astronauts and many others who now work at NASA. Sometimes the stories here will just be about cool things going on at NASA. Occasionally I may tell you about something going on at NASA that you may want to get involved in. And I hope as you read about some of the great things other students are doing at NASA that you’ll share some of your cool NASA experiences with me too!

This Friday and Saturday I’ll be at the 17th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race where 100 teams — 1,000 students!! — from around the world will race homemade lunar rovers through a simulated lunar terrain. I’ll blog all about it next week, but if you want to get in on the moonbuggy action sooner, check out the official NASA Great Moonbuggy Race site and the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race blog. Moonbuggy also has a Twitter feed, a Facebook page and live racing on Ustream.

NASA Higher Ed Student Section

NASA 9-12 Student Section


3 thoughts on “This Blog Is Taking Up Space”

  1. Not exactly a student persay, but I have recently been bitten by the bug, and read extensively on various space-exploration topics. Guess I’m a burgeoning student… I have a question that perhaps can be answered here by actual ‘folks in the know’… here we go:

    I have recently decided after a zillion pages of reading that the real ‘answer’ to the future of human space presence should take the form of a space elevator. The technology is *almost* ready (at this point the limiting factor seems to be $ sufficient to make something that large entirely out of Fullerines)… If a crash program to actually build a functional elevator were undertaken, we could start ferrying material to L3/L5 the day it goes operational, and continue until such a time as we had a truly functional presence in orbit. From there, it becomes a far more trivial exercise to build something more permanent that could go to Mars, and beyond. The fuel needed when you start in orbit is a tiny fraction of what is needed from within the atmosphere, and since food/supplies could be ‘abandoned’ at L3/L5 more or less indefinitely… we can build up until literally every possible need is filled before we take the next step.

    Chemical reaction motors’ lift capacity has not scaled up to the point that it is feasible to have a permanent human presence in space, and never will… the elevator concept is the only one that appears to have the long-term scalability to make exospheric human settlement a real possibility.

    So… who knows enough about this to tell me 1) what I need to read to understand this more fully, and 2) why we aren’t building this already?

    Thanks…

  2. This event is very nice. I hope the everyone has fun. and the words next to the picture are messed up however

  3. Thank you ATLANTIS for your wonderful service of twenty-five years. I said you goddbye. I hope you not go to destrooy but go for a meseum.

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