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New Horizons

New Horizons

A New Frontier

Excerpts from Support Letter from Dr. Emily Cobabe-Amman, U. of Colorado Laboratory for Space Physics (LASP)

LASP has tried, over the last 5-8 years, to increase participation of underrepresented students in our undergraduate and graduate programs. We have tried a variety of recruiting techniques, and our scientists have worked to increase our scientific partnerships with minority-serving institutions.

When I arrived at LASP three years ago, we began to try to systematically improve our efforts. Our primary goal was to use programs that were already in place, ones that used ‘best practices’ for moving projects forward, and really allowed us entree into a group of schools that we would otherwise have approach individually. As I became familiar with the NASA education system, MU-SPIN jumped out as the ‘go-to’ group for our needs.

One of the most important aspects of MU-SPIN that I value is your ability to talk to me about a wide range NASA-based missions and programs. MU-SPIN’s relationship with the NAI (of which we are a member), its experience with NASA missions and its interest in student-based programs have all made MU-SPIN invaluable to me as the EPO lead of a multiple-mission, interdisciplinary science institution.

In addition, you and I have been talking for over a year about how to develop a partnership that could increase the participation of minority students in LASP’s programs. We were delighted that MU-SPIN students were at JHU/APL performing testing and integration of the New Horizons spacecraft. I think that you and I both see this relationship as one that could be the prototype for building capabilities for MU faculty and students to participate in the Vision for Space Exploration and potentially become team members on future missions.

I think that it is critical that we find a way to move our LASP/MU-SPIN relationship forward. LASP currently has no other relationship with MUREP, except through MU-SPIN. I would hate to see that put into jeopardy!

Spacecraft Parts: Instruments

CRISM
CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometers for Mars)
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Hot spring at Yellowstone National Park (Image credit National Park Service)