Next stop NASA for New Zealand students

Six tertiary students have been selected to work on NASA projects in the US through a New Zealand Space Scholarship, Space Minister Judith Collins announced today.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for these talented students. They will undertake internships at NASA’s Ames Research Center or its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where they will gain hands-on experience in their fields of study and access to NASA’s best and most advanced research facilities,” Ms Collins says.

“While the skills, knowledge and connections they bring home will be invaluable for them personally, this will also help to strengthen and grow our science and space sectors which in turn helps grow our economy.”

Ms Collins and the students - Narottam Royal and Alexandra McKendry (University of Canterbury), Tait Francis (University of Otago), Axl Rogers (Auckland University of Technology), and Grace Jacobs Corban and Faun Watson (Victoria University of Wellington) - celebrated their selection at an event at Parliament today.

“The New Zealand Space Scholarship is one of the ways the Government encourages the next generation of talented people to pursue careers in space-related fields, helping to ensure the ongoing success of our space industry.

“These internships are the latest example of the strong, collaborative partnership we have with NASA and the US, which continues to offer opportunities for space science, technology and cooperation on a global scale,” Ms Collins says.

“The interns themselves are testament to the emerging talent we have in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in New Zealand.”

The three-month internships will begin in June, with the students based at either NASA’s Ames Center in Silicon Valley or its JPL in Pasadena.

More information about the 2024 NZ Space Scholarship recipients and the projects they’ll work on is available on the MBIE website