NASA’s upcoming SPHEREx mission will be able to scan the entire sky every six months and create a map of the cosmos unlike any before.
Scheduled to launch no later than April 2025, it will probe what happened within the first second after the big bang, how galaxies form and evolve, and the prevalence of molecules critical to the formation of life, like water, locked away as ice in our galaxy.
Achieving these goals will require cutting-edge technology, and NASA has this month approved final plans for all the observatory’s components.
A prize competition is designed to engage underrepresented academic institutions in helping NASA make advancements in machine learning, AI, and developing of autonomous systems.
Through a new prize competition, NASA is engaging minority serving institutions (MSIs) to bring ideas for new information technologies that will help address climate change.
The prize competition, the MSI Space Accelerator, comes from a new partnership between NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, the Minority University Research Education Project within the Office of STEM Engagement, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, and Starburst Accelerator in Los Angeles.
The MSI Space Accelerator competition is designed to engage underrepresented academic institutions and help NASA make significant advancements in the areas of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the development of autonomous systems. The best ideas will be awarded up to $50,000 in prize funding to each institution.
NASA isn’t just interested in putting more women in space.
The agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has appointed Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Dr. Laurie Leshin as its first female director.
She’ll assume the role on May 16th, replacing former director Michael Watkins (who retired in August 2021) and interim director Lt. Gen Larry James. She’ll also serve as vice president of Caltech, which manages the JPL.
Leshin has extensive experience, both in science and in breaking new ground. She has held senior positions in NASA, including a key director role at the Goddard Space Flight Center. As deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, she laid some of the groundwork for both commercial spaceflight and Artemis. She was Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s science dean, and has served as WPI’s first female president since 2014.