Students and faculty at seven universities nationwide will soon have out-of-this-world opportunities as they become NASA partners working with the International Space Station.

NASA has awarded grants to seven universities to work with the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston. Through this partnership, faculty and students will be exposed to the Station’s technical data and expertise, which can be used for classroom endeavors. In exchange, NASA will reap benefits from the studies conducted and assistance provided by those students and faculty.

"This partnership truly seeks to inspire the next generation of explorers as only NASA can," said Dennis Stone, ISS Engineering Outreach Project Manager. "The faculty and students will get real experience with human space flight research and operations, and NASA will benefit from their creative thinking and enthusiasm."

The seven universities selected for grants are: Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Montana State University, Purdue University, University of Alabama-Huntsville, University of Mississippi and University of Wyoming.

The grant opportunity was announced by NASA through the 2004 Aerospace Workforce Development Competition Announcement distributed to the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program network of universities.

Completion of the Station to enable research on long-term human life and work in space is a crucial step in returning humans to the Moon, journeying to Mars and beyond as outlined in the Vision for Space Exploration. The Station’s current residents, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, are two-thirds of the way through their six-month residency aboard the 200-ton-plus orbiting outpost. The Station has been crewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 2000.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit: