More Kiwi students take leap to NASA

  • Hon Phil Twyford
Economic Development

A second cohort of high-performing New Zealand tertiary students and recent graduates are set to wing their way to California to participate in the NASA International Internship Programme.                  

Finbar Argus, 23, of Christchurch, Lynley St George (Ngāti Porou), 22, of Waikato, and Sam Donald, 22, of Whanganui will travel to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, with financial support from the New Zealand Space Scholarship.

Their internships will last 16 weeks until December. While there they will work on projects on rotorcraft aeromechanics, novel media data visualisation and finding Earth and super-Earth sized planets hundreds of light years away. 

“It is great to see Kiwi students grabbing hold of this opportunity to learn from some of the best in the space technology field,” Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said.

“There are few places in the world where they could get an experience like this. The Government is committed to building an innovative space industry in New Zealand and the skills, knowledge and connections interns will bring home and share will help us build our space capability and inspire more young people to get involved in the sector.”

The new group follows in the footsteps of the first four Kiwi students to participate in the International Internship Programme from June to August this year. Interns were selected from a pool of 250 applicants by the New Zealand Space Agency, part of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and then secondly by NASA.

“The first four interns have described an amazing and valuable experience, and I am pleased to see this opportunity extended to Finbar, Lynley and Sam,” Phil Twyford said.

The Government-funded New Zealand Space Scholarship covers the costs of the internship, including airfares to the United States, accommodation, living expenses and visa-related fees.

More information and profiles of the 2019 New Zealand Space Scholarship recipients, including video blogs, is available at