Press Release

NASA Considers Development of Student-Led American Student Moon Orbiter (ASMO) Initiative

By SpaceRef Editor
July 2, 2008
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NASA Considers Development of Student-Led American Student Moon Orbiter (ASMO) Initiative

NASA ARC Solicitation: American Student Moon Orbiter ASMO Concept

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — NASA is considering the development of a university-based, student-led satellite development initiative to begin passing the space exploration torch to a new generation.

The American Student Moon Orbiter, or ASMO, concept invites students, faculty and industry leaders in the U.S. with experience in university-based, student-led spaceflight projects to respond to a Request for Information which is planned for release this month and will remain open for at least 90 days. The orbiter will be a small satellite that could orbit the moon and carry scientific instruments designed and developed by students. It is aligned with NASA’s lunar exploration agenda.

“It is important to provide meaningful experiences to our next generation of engineers, but we need to do it in a thoughtful way,” said Dr. Joyce Winterton, assistant administrator for Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “By collecting input from universities with experience in this area, we can make the correct decision about whether to proceed, and if so, how.”

Under the ASMO concept, teams would learn directly from NASA mentors as part of a diverse, nationwide, higher education initiative that enables students to design, build, launch, operate and own a small spacecraft and its payload. Students would acquire in-depth experience with satellite mission protocol and procedures, communications and project management. NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California and NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are leading the ASMO initiative.

“NASA is laying the foundation for a multi-generation exploration program that eventually will see humans settle our solar system,” said Ames Center Director S. Pete Worden. “To sustain this vision, we need the next crop of scientists and engineers to engage their minds and get hands-on experience.”

NASA’s Office of Education provides opportunities to prepare college and university students for successful aerospace careers through real-world applications of their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills.

To respond to the American Student Moon Orbiter Request for Information, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.