University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Students, faculty check out NASA’s Ames Research Center

Visit aims to foster UND collaboration with NASA scientists

Three UND students, along with Space Studies faculty member Pablo de León, recently visited National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA’s) Ames Research Center in California to foster collaborations between UND and NASA scientists, using technology developed at UND with NASA funding.

Space Studies chair Santhosh Seelan also participated on the trip.

Annie Wargetz and Tiffany Swarmer, Space Studies graduate students, and Zach Hamann, a Engineering undergraduate student, gave presentations about the planetary analog base constructed at UND. The project was funded by a NASA EPSCoR CAN grant titled “Integrated Strategies for the Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars.”

During the visit, de León and Wargetz also presented a 50-minute talk detailing the components of the UND Human Spaceflight Laboratory and focused on the elements of the planetary analog base.

The base includes a habitation module, an electric rover, and space (or planetary exploration) suits used for extra-vehicular activities.

"During the presentation, the NASA scientists asked several questions about the possibilities for joint research that could be conducted using the analog base," Wargetz said. "The purpose of the trip was to encourage just such collaborations."

The students and faculty also toured facilities at Ames to explore potential new research collaborations between UND and NASA.

-- Juan Miguel Pedraza, writer/editor, National Media Relations Coordinator, University and Public Affairs, 777.6571,

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