ASGC Director's Letter
Dr. John Gregory
Welcome to the NASA Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC). Ours is one of 52 state consortia in the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (generally know as "Space Grant"). Like the Land Grant and Sea Grant programs, we were created by Congress. The goals and objectives of the National and of the Alabama Space Grants are discussed on our home page.
In Alabama, space science and engineering plays a major part in our high tech economy, more so than any other state of our size. To achieve our objectives we team with members and affiliates across the state in offering a portfolio of programs. Details of each of these may be found on the pages of this website.
One of our biggest programs is "Fellowships and Scholarships", each of which is awarded to a student or scholar at one of Alabama's 7 research universities, and, beginning in 2011, also at some of our community colleges. Perhaps the most exciting set of programs and one which sets the ASGC apart in its depth and breadth, is that in which students build and fly Space Hardware. We currently have 14 such programs including those at all 7 member institutions. These programs include "NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge (formerly the Great Moonbuggy Race)", culminating in a NASA competition, BalloonSat in which students design and build a satellite-like instrument and fly it to the edge of Space, about 100,000ft altitude, students building high-powered rockets and designing science instruments that fly on rockets, and students flying microgravity experiments to fly on NASA's zero-g aircraft, known as the vomit-comet. If you just want to get a flavor of these, take a look at a recent report on our workshops designed to train student teams in rocketry. In addition to our work in Higher Education, we have programs to reach the grade schools and the general public.