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News > AFRL Signs EPA to Educate and Inspire Future Aerospace Professionals
University of Colorado students
University of Colorado students shown with their RocketSat III payload before preflight environmental testing. Photo courtesy of Chris Koehler, University of Colorado.
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AFRL Signs EPA to Educate and Inspire Future Aerospace Professionals

Posted 8/14/2008   Updated 8/14/2008 Email story   Print story


by Eva Blaylock, AFRL/RVOT
Space Vehicles Directorate

8/14/2008 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- An Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed between AFRL and the ACCESS for Education Foundation will give students from kindergarten through high school (K-12) the chance to design, build, launch, and study space-related experiments. This unique opportunity, which also extends to college undergraduate and graduate students, will not only improve student understanding of the scientific environment, but will assist ongoing efforts to attract and develop the next generation of aerospace professionals. 

A nonprofit entity under the corporate framework of Microgravity Enterprises, Inc. (MEI), the ACCESS for Education Foundation is devoted to providing educational, public outreach focused on space research, development, and commercialization. One of the foundation's primary functions is to provide free-of-charge rides to space on every one of MEI's commercial sounding rocket launches. As a result, student-developed experimental payloads that would have normally launched from balloon flights will instead be exposed to the actual launch environment. This EPA will help AFRL and its industry partner work towards providing local K-12 schools and area universities with access to space. The hands-on training and experience will aid in attracting and developing future space scientists and engineers. A more long-range goal of the EPA is to facilitate the launch of Air Force experimental payloads under a separate cooperative agreement with MEI.

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