Welcome to the NASA Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium.
Our state is a symbol of independence and exploration is in our blood, ever since settlers established a colony and crossed the oceans for trade. Now we cross the solar system. We explore the planets, search for early life on the planets and on the earth, study the origin of the universe (cosmology), design habitats for living in space, study space medicine, develop new materials for space applications, remotely sensing the earth and its environment, and are involved in numerous other NASA-related studies of our world and its neighbors.
We're famous for quahogs and coffee milk, not to mention for being regularly referenced as a useful scale for large impact craters and the asteroids that formed them. But you might not know that the first camera on the surface of Mars was designed right here in Rhode Island for NASA's Viking Mission or that one of the first laboratories dedicated to study life beneath the ocean floor was recently constructed here. Our K-12 students participated in launching the first rocket into space from RI in Charlestown in November 1999. And Rhode Island undergraduate students now regularly fly experiments to study the effects of micro-gravity.
Our consortium now consists of 11 institutions of higher learning and numerous partnerships with museums, educators, and businesses. The Fellowship/Scholarship program is a key element. It not only supports undergraduate and graduate students participating in NASA-related research but also links them with the community through a close partnership with RI teachers and their students. In Rhode Island, Space Grant Fellows and Scholars can reach all borders within an hour and they share their passion for and knowledge about their research with teachers and their students face-to-face. Faculty members from our affiliate institutions also volunteer to travel the Ocean State to participate in outreach through our Speakers Bureau. One of our goals is to promote understanding of and interest in NASA's mission to all levels of learners in RI, as only NASA and its family can.
So, welcome to our Consortium. It's an exciting place to be and an exciting time to be here. The only way is up.
Peter H. Schultz, Ph.D.
Director, Rhode Island Space Grant