VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize Category Winners Announced

Four Australian undergraduate students have been shortlisted for the VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize, and the opportunity to spend 10 weeks working with a NASA scientist or engineer as part of the NASA Academy Program in 2010. These programs are normally only available to US citizens, and will be the first time an Australian student is offered this exciting and prestigious opportunity. This competition will help build the skills needed by the emerging Australian Space Industry, which supports the goals of the Australian Government’s Australian Space Science Program announced in the last budget. All students’ submissions were of a very high standard, demonstrating the innovative research being conducted in Australian universities.

The winning students were Elizabeth Blaber (University of New South Wales), Aaron Podmore (University of New South Wales), Andrew Langendam (Monash...
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WA Science & Engineering Summer School

Mark Gargano, MSA Education Director, presented his keynote presentation at the 2010 Western Australian Science & Engineering Summer School on the 20th of January. The Summer School was hosted by Murdoch University and aimed to give the 59 attending Year 11 and 12 students a chance to see and experience science, mathematics and engineering in action; to learn from and to work with some of Australia's leading researchers; to explore challenging career paths and experience what life as a tertiary student might be like.

Read more here.
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Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010

If you are a Secondary School Educator with an interest in earth, planetary and space science, then the Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010 expedition might be just the thing for you.

To be held in the Californian Mojave Desert from March 28th to April, Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010 is a teacher development program aimed at helping educationalists find exciting new ways to teach science. Participants can expect a week of high quality professional development. Areas that are intended examined in this program are desert soils and microbiology, geomicrobiology, astrobiology, hypolithic algae, remote sensing and engineering. It is envisaged that Australian participants will fly into Los Angeles and will depart from San Francisco, visiting other sites of interest to space enthusiasts along the way. You will have an opportunity to spend time working in the field with leading planetary scientists in disciplines including geology and astrobiology.

If this sounds like the thing...
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'Planetary Geology for Beginners' on 11th November

Fascinated by the latest images from Mars? Curious about how impact craters have shaped the Moon? Want to know how the rocky bodies in the Solar System formed? Always wanted to see a meteorite up close? Join Dr. Jonathan Clarke for a FREE introductory course on planetary geology that will cover the different processes that resulted in the formation and current state of the Moon, Mars and other rocky bodies in our Solar System. To be held in Canberra, the course will also include hands on activities in Geoscience Australia’s Education Centre and the chance to examine various geological specimens including several meteorites.

Download a course information sheet here for further details.
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Australians Supporting 2009 FMARS Field Season

Volunteers from the Mars Society Australia’s Sydney branch have been selected to support this year’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) expedition by running the Pacific-based Mission Support Centre. FMARS is an annual research expedition conducted at a research station located at Devon Island near the North Pole. The peer reviewed research conducted at Devon Island, a Mars-like ‘analogue’ environment, is geared towards learning how humans will live and work on Mars, and has been visited by scientists and engineers from around the world since it was first constructed in 2000. Australia’s contribution to this expedition follows in the tradition of assisting international space-related projects and makes this valuable research possible.

Read more here.
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Dr Chris McKay to Open AMEC2009 Tonight with Free Public Lecture

One of the world's leading planetary scientists Dr Chris McKay of NASA Ames will open this year's Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2009) tonight (Friday 17th July) with a free public lecture. Titled 'Results of the Phoenix Mission to Mars and Analog sites on Earth', he will report on the findings of NASA's recent Phoenix Mission. The talk will commence at 7.30pm at the Centenary Building, Level 3 - Room 16 (C3-16), University of South Australia, City East Campus, (Corner North Terrace and Frome Roads, Adelaide. (Download a pdf map).

AMEC registration will be possible...
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Spaceward Bound 2009 Expedition Underway

The Spaceward Bound 2009 Expedition is now well underway, with the team currently spending the night at Marree after three days at Arkaroola Resort. The expedition is proving to be a intensely valuable unique experience for both the participating researchers and educators alike. You can read more on the expedition website, where daily reports and photos are being posted (internet access permitting). Leave your questions and comments on the expedition messageboard.
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'News From the Field' SBA2009 Web Page Launched

A 'News From the Field' web page for the Spaceward Bound Australia 2009 expedition is now online at More information about the expedition (including a special media section) will be added shortly. The expedition will depart next week on Thursday 9th July. Once the expedition is underway, the page will feature daily updates of reports and photographs, documenting the journey from out in the field. The page will compliment NASA's existing Spaceward Bound Program Homepage.

Spread the word and the link!
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Dr Jim Bell to Give Free Public Mars Lecture 10th July

Dr Jim Bell, International President of the Planetary Society and science team member of many recent NASA planetary missions including the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunuity, will be giving a free public lecture this coming Friday 10th, July, titled "Mars Exploration Rovers: Overview of Geologic, Geochemical, and Mineralogic Results". It will start at 4pm in the Fritz Loewe Theatre, at the Department of Earth Sciences, at the University of Melbourne. (2nd floor of the McCoy building, corner Swanston and Elgin Streets, Carlton. Admission is free.)

Read an abstract of the lecture and...
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