NZ students accepted as NASA interns

Four New Zealand tertiary students have been accepted into the NASA International Internship Programme and have been awarded New Zealand Space Scholarships. 

The four who received the award at a ceremony in the Beehive were selected from a pool of over 200 applicants. They are: Rosemary Swears (University of Waikato), Steven McCabe (University of Waikato), Andrew Alder (University of Boulder, Colorado, previously University of Auckland) and Hammond Pearce (University of Auckland). 

“The standard of applications demonstrates the high quality of New Zealand’s tertiary education and the way we prepare students to achieve at the highest level in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Economic Development Minister David Parker said. 

“The primary goals of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are to support our high-achieving students in space-related activities, build capability in New Zealand’s space economy and strengthen our connection to the global space network.” 

The internships, which will run for 10 weeks, will begin next month and the students will be based at the NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley. 

New Zealand Space Scholarship recipients are able to participate in NASA’s International Internships Programme as a result of a contractual agreement between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and NASA. 

Candidates were selected by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and then secondly by NASA from a broader pool of international applicants.  

The scholarship covers the costs of the internship, including airfares to the United States, accommodation, living expenses and visa-related fees. 

During their internships the students will publish regular blogs hosted on the New Zealand Space Agency website, sharing their experiences with other students, scientists, researchers and space industry professionals. 

“This Government is committed to building an innovative and disruptive space industry in New Zealand. I’m pleased this vision includes supporting students like Rose, Steve, Andrew and Hammond as they pursue research in space-related fields at the highest levels,” David Parker said. 

“They are our future innovators, entrepreneurs and space scientists, and we hope they will play a vital role in developing a thriving domestic space industry.”  

The 2019 Space Scholarships are part of a pilot and an assessment will be made at the end of the year whether to continue them.

More information and profiles of the 2019 NZ Space Scholarship recipients are at the New Zealand Space Agency’s website www.mbie.govt.nz/space.