Support 9000 Space Exploration Interested Students

Jul 28, 2014

July Update

The new logo of SEDS-USA
The new logo of SEDS-USA

I am thrilled to announce that after 30 years of the beloved "worm" logo, SEDS-USA will be launching the new "eclipse" logo. The logo redesign and corresponding website launch are intended to update the forward face of SEDS, a student organization making great leaps in space advocacy. With the "eclipse" logo, we simultaneously pay homage to the explorers and accomplishments of the past, while demonstrating our new vision for the future. The national rebrand has been in development for over eight months now and I am so proud and impressed by the work our team of SEDS-USA Staff and Board members has done in this time. Please help us spread the news and share in our excitement by checking out our press announcement and logo kit on the Media page. With this new logo we are also proud to announce the all new We have completely redesigned the SEDS-USA website to make it more enjoyable (or less painful!) than ever to interact with SEDS-USA on the web. We hope you enjoy exploring the projects, merchandise, and information on this new website and use it to stay up to date with the organization's news and activities.  

Registration for SpaceVision 2014 is open! Students and professionals can register on the website for all four days of the conference, banquet, and Mercury 13 Social all for an early bird student price of $90. The conference will be heldThursday, October 30th through Sunday, November 2nd in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We are pleased to announce that SpaceVision 2014 will include anacademic poster sessionshowcasing the best projects undertaken by students in the space industry and related fields. Students are invited to submit abstracts of no greater than 2,250 characters in the following categories: Propulsion & Rocketry, Asteroids, Rovers & Robotics ($1000 prize), Satellites, or Astronomy, Earth Science, and Space Science ($1000 prize). Our latest confirmed speakers include Dr. Kris Lehnhardt, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Medicine at George Washington University, and Dr. Geronimo Villanueva, astrobiologist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  

NewSpace 2014, the annual conference of the Space Frontier Foundation, is just around the corner from July 24th through July 26th in Silicon Valley, California. Keynote speakers include SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, co-founder of SEDS and Moon Express Bob Richards, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Moon Express President Andy AldrinDraper Fisher Jurvetson's Steve Jurvetson, NASA Ames Director Pete Worden, and more. See the conference website for panel descriptions, additional keynote and honored speakers, and to stay updated as programming announcements are made. SEDS members who are students or 2014 graduates can use the discount code "dse3s" to receive a 50% discount on registration. This is a unique opportunity for students to network and learn from the leaders of the space industry in the technology capital of the world. Stay tuned for details about the SEDS-USA Alumni and Meetup Event at NewSpace. 

Last month, a subset of the SEDS-USA Board of Directors, Staff, and Council of Chapters attended the first ever SEDS-USA Leadership Conference, an Emerging Space Industry Leaders (ESIL) workshop. Attendees were able to interact one-on-one with mentors and seasoned leaders of the space industry, including Lori Garver, Air Line Pilots Association President and previous Deputy Directory of NASA, Ken Davidian, Director of Research at the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Carissa Christensen, Founder and Managing Director of the Tauri Group, and other leaders from Virgin Galactic, the White House Office of Science and Technology and Policy, PolispaceNexGen Space LLC, and more.

For this month's chapter highlight, we have the University of Colorado SEDS. CUSEDS had an unforgettable Spring semester. They started the semester with a small group lunch with the quirky and awesome astronaut Don Pettit, and ended the semester with a live video session with the current commander of the International Space Station and CU alumnusSteve Swanson (Joe Tanner, former astronaut and CUSEDS advisor, Chris Nie, CUSEDS member, and Steve “Swanny” Swanson pictured above). Between these two events, the chapter hosted over 200 students for a screening of the first episode of Neil Degrasse Tyson's Cosmos in their local planetarium, Boulder’s annual Yuri’s Night celebration, along with several local speakers including Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Jack Burns. The chapter has also supported two projects – a high-powered rocketry team (COBRA) that performed competitively in NASA’s Student Launch Rocketry Competition and is currently competing in the SEDS-USA’s University Student Rocketry Challenge (USRC) – and a team competing the week of June 16-20 at NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Long Duration Mission competition.  


On behalf of the entire SEDS-USA national leadership, thank you so much for your continued support and involvement with SEDS. 


SEDS Leadership at the ESIL Leadership Conference
SEDS Leadership at the ESIL Leadership Conference
CUSEDS Student Chris Nie speaking w ISS astronauts
CUSEDS Student Chris Nie speaking w ISS astronauts


May 6, 2014

May Update!

SEDS-ASU with Astronaut Nicole Stott
SEDS-ASU with Astronaut Nicole Stott
Hey SEDS members, alumni, and supporters! 
I hope this email finds you all well (and in lovely Spring weather!). This month's letter features updates on the Alumni Association, SpaceTalksour three national competitionsSpaceVision 2014, ISDC 2014 and 30th Space Symposium, and this month's featured chapter, SEDS-ASU.
The SEDS-USA Alumni Association is collecting contact info from graduating seniors in order to present them with this year's graduation gifts and to add them to the SEDS-USA Alumni Association. The only requirement for joining the Alumni Association is a form completion -- this will ensure alumni are included in all Association events and will help to maintain a connection with the growing nationwide network of SEDS-USA alumni. If you are graduating this year please fill out this form by May 9th to be included in our spring program.  
Last month we saw SpaceTalks from Dr. Ryan Kobrick, Executive Director of Yuri's Night and Program Manager of Space Florida, as well as Dr. Scott Madry, Research Professor of Archaeology at the University of North Carolina and Faculty Member at the International Space University. Since most chapters will not be regularly meeting over the summer, starting with the next SpaceTalk on May 15th until September, individuals will be able to participate directly in the Hangout and interact with the speakers. 
Chapters participating in the High-Altitude Balloon Competition are finishing up their payloads and launching this month. Geoff Notkin, host of the television show Meteorite Men, interviewed our  University of Arizona chapter about their balloon! See it here. 
The SpaceVision 2014 website is now live! Confirmed keynote speakers so far include: Dr. John Mather, Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope and Nobel Prize Winner in Physics; Dr. Story Musgrave, NASA astronaut for 30 years and veteran of six spaceflights on all five space shuttles; Lori Garver, General Manager for the Airline Pilots Association and previous Deputy Administrator for NASA; Rick Tumlinson, Founder and Chairman of Deep Space Industries and Co-Founder of the Space Frontier Foundation; and Pete Worden, Director of NASA Ames Research CenterFollow our social media pages ( | @SEDSSpaceVision) to be sure you don't miss upcoming exciting programming announcements 
The International Space Development Conference (ISDC) and 30th Space Symposium are just around the corner. National Space Society's ISDC 2014, themed "A Space Renaissance," will be held in Los Angeles from May 14th to 18th, followed immediately by Space Foundation's Space Symposium in Colorado Springs from May 19 to 22ndJoin us at the SEDS-USA Alumni Event and Meetup at ISDC on Thursday, May 15th and at 30th SS on May 20thFollow up on our social media pages for details on time and location! 
 This week's featured chapter update is from the Arizona State University SEDS chapter. SEDS-ASU ended the semester with a bang when three of their members, Jack Lightholder, John Conafay, and Robert Amzler flew with NASA’s Microgravity University aboard the weightless wonder zero gravity aircraft. They were part of the ASU Dust Devils Microgravity research group flying a student built astrophysics payload looking at early proto-planetary disk formation and dust coagulation in a microgravity environment. SEDS-ASU is also hard at work on their MarsTrac mission. This group is designing an open source, modular, sustainable, and 3D printable industrial vehicle for use on other worlds. The group seeks to test their prototype at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) next winter.
Thank you so much for your continued support of and participation with SEDS. I look forward to the next month of wonderful events, projects, and successes! 
Ad astra, 
SEDS-ASU Preparing for Their Zero-G Flight
SEDS-ASU Preparing for Their Zero-G Flight


Apr 18, 2014

Spring Update!

The first SEDS-USA SpaceTalks with Will Pomerantz
The first SEDS-USA SpaceTalks with Will Pomerantz

This update includes information about the SEDS-USA High Altitude Balloon Competition, the SpaceTalks speaker series, SpaceVision 2014, the Student Business Plan Competition, the Humans to Mars Summit, and the International Space Development Conference.

The first-ever High Altitude Balloon Competition has officially launched! Teams are challenged to build and fly a less-than-six-pound payload by May 31st. Three winners will be selected based on the novelty of the payload, with a grand prize of five SpaceVision 2014 registrations. This competition is the perfect way for your chapter to get involved with a technical project with little funding or technical experience required. Half of our chapters have already signed up to participate!

SEDS SpaceTalks is a series of Google+ Hangouts On Air highlighting developments, challenges, and new opportunities in the space industry. Each Hangout, a new space-industry leader is invited to talk about a hot space topic of their choice. Events are broadcast live on YouTube for questions from the public, and chapters have the opportunity to join the Hangout and interact directly with the speaker. So far we have had three successful SpaceTalk hangouts with William Pomerantz, Vice President of Special Projects at Virgin Galactic; Chris Voorhees, Vice President of Spacecraft Development at Planetary Resources; and Ryan Kobrick, Executive Director of Yuri's Night and Program Manager at Space Florida.

UNC SEDS has been working away on getting things ready for SpaceVision 2014, to be held October 30th - November 2nd in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Registration and hotel bookings will be available within the next week, and we’ll be announcing a number of awesome speakers. As a sneak peek at the keynotes you can expect this year, we are excited to announce that Astronaut Story Musgrave, the only astronaut to fly missions on all five shuttles,  and Lori Garver will be delivering keynotes at this year’s conference.

Preparations for the fourth annual Student Business Plan Competition have already begun, starting with efforts to increase public awareness of the event and seeking out sponsorships. This year, we hope build off the success of previous competitions and substantially increase the prize offering as well as provide educational resources to students with entrepreneurial interests. Also being considered is the possibility of providing a seminar for the competitors prior to the event, where they can learn how to strengthen their business plans and approach potential investors.

We are pleased to announce that members of SEDS will receive a special discount code for the Humans to Mars Summit (H2M). In addition, and STEM educators will receive free registration on the first day of the conference (April 22nd). H2M will be held April 22-24, 2014 at at George Washington University in Washington, DC. This Summit will be a comprehensive Mars exploration conference to address the major technical, scientific, and policy related challenges that need to be overcome to send humans to Mars by 2030. Topics will include Mars mission architecture and challenges, science goals and robotic precursor missions, planetary protection, international cooperation, Mars and STEM education, space and US competitiveness, Affording Mars, ISRU, and many other topics. SEDS members can receive exclusive discount registration with a discount code provided by their chapter leaders. H2M speakers include: Buzz Aldrin, Charles Bolden, William Gerstenmaier, Miles O'Brien, Scott Pace, Pete Worden, Rick Tumlinson, and many more. For a full list of speakers, please visit

The National Space Society's International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2014 will be held in Los Angeles at the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel from May14th to 18th. This annual conference brings together the leading managers, engineers, scientists, educators, and businessmen from civilian, military, commercial, entrepreneurial, and grassroots advocacy space sectors. This year, the theme of the conference is "A Space Renaissance", a revival or rebirth, a period of expanding intellectual and artistic achievement or enthusiasm. A Renaissance is happening now in the worldwide space industry during this transformation towards private space enterprise and space tourism ventures. Inevitably this will lead to large-scale sustainable space settlements and a bright and healthy future in space for humanity. The National Space Society expects ISDC 2014 to be one of the premiere space conferences of the year and to have record attendance. Many SEDS members from all over the country will be volunteers at ISDC 2014, and the Chair of SEDS-USA will be speaking to hundreds of students on the first night of the conference.

Thank you for your continued involvement with SEDS. We look forward to the next month of your contributions to the SEDS mission to promote and participate in the exploration and development of space.


Dec 17, 2013

Fall update!

The outgoing and incoming SEDS Board of Directors.
The outgoing and incoming SEDS Board of Directors.

SEDS-USA's major event in the Fall was SpaceVision 2013. SpaceVision, the national conference for SEDS-USA and the largest student-run space conference in the world, is hosted every Fall by a select SEDS university chapter. This year's conference was hosted by the chapter at Arizona State University (ASU) on their beautiful, sunny campus in Tempe, Arizona. Speakers included Bill Nye, the Science Guy and CEO of The Planetary Society; Phil Plait, author of the Bad Astronomer blog; and Bob Richards, co-founder of SEDS, Moon Express, and International Space University (among others!). The conference drew hundreds of students who are not just interested in space but are dedicated to the development and pursuit of space exploration, the future leaders of our nation -- and our solar system.

The results of year-long competitions and efforts were presented at SpaceVision 2013, including the winning teams of the High-Powered Rocketry Competition and NewSpace Student Business Plan Competition as well as National Awards for chapters and individuals. This year's High-Powered Rocketry Competition saw a 50% growth in participation and the University of Buffalo (UB) SEDS took first prize with a rocket that reached an altitude of over 10,000 feet. UB SEDS also won the Satellite Project of the Year Award for their GLint Analyzing Data Observation Satellite (GLADOS) project. The University of California at San Diego SEDS won both the NewSpace Student Business Plan Competition and the Technical Project of the Year award for their 3D printed rocket engines, in addition to the national award for Best New Chapter. SEDS-ASU won Chapter of the Year for their fantastic work on SpaceVision planning and other projects and the University of North Carolina SEDS (UNC) won Outreach Project of the Year for the Carolina Space Symposium. The Todd Hawley Award for Student Leadership was awarded to 2012-2013 Chair of SEDS-USA Michael Zwach and the Darrell D. Cain Award of Excellence was awarded to Dan Pastuf, Executive Director and 2011-2012 Chair of SEDS-USA. SpaceVision 2013 also facilitated the Council of Chapters, a national meeting for all chapters to meet face-to-face and elect the new year's Board of Directors as well as the chapter that will host SpaceVision 2014. Next year's conference will be hosted by our chapter at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation's top public research university.

Sep 17, 2013

Summer Updates from SEDS!

Hello SEDS Supporter!

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) has seen terrific growth this quarter due in large part to the generosity we received through GlobalGiving and the GiveForYouth platform.  A couple of the major projects we have been working on include the SpaceVision conference where the SEDS business plan will be held, the 2013 SEDS Rocketry challenge, revamping the NOVA publication, and the High Altitude Balloon Project. 

A major yearly goal for SEDS is the SpaceVision conference.  This year the Student NewSpace Buisiness Plan Competition has been announced for SpaceVision 2013 which has more than quadrupled the prizes for this year’s competition as result of these outreach efforts. SpaceVision 2013 will be held at Arizona State this year from November 7th -10th and co-ordination has begun with AIAA, International Space School Educational Trust, the California Space Enterprise Center, SpaceUnited, among many others!

The 2013 SEDS Rocketry challenge has gotten off to a great start. We have seen a dramatic improvement in team engagement this year with excellent work being completed by students in their drive to complete the challenge of launching a rocket to 10,000 feet with a three pound scientific payload. Ten teams have filed to participate this year which impacts over 150 students at universities across the country. Teams will be launching their rockets over the summer of 2013 and submitting their final reports for scoring in September 2013.

Another important aspect of SEDS is the NOVA newsletter.  This publication brings national updates to each of the student chapters.  We are planning on a new distribution method in order to allow it to be more accessible and relevant to timeliness of content, creating a more compact format and having it easy to access to SEDS members on the SEDS website and via email.  Historically, the NOVA has been released in polished lengthy volumes as SEDS has done for decades; moving to a newsletter format which can be sent out bi-weekly or weekly is more timely to the latest space developments and our members.

The High Altitude Balloon micro-project has made great strides in developing a project to reach and influence K-12 students. In seeking for partners to help SEDS reach this demographic, the executive board has been in discussion with SpaceUnited, a relatively new space organization which focuses on humanitarian efforts space access can provide. Aligning a goal to reduce the costs of High Altitude Balloon kits and preparing lesson plans for teachers, SEDS is working to inspire students young about the edge of the earth and where space begins.

This has only just touched on the most active of projects at SEDS in the works with your help. For a full stream of updates and to stay up to date check us out on Facebook, Twitter, or at If you have any questions or would like to engage SEDS, please feel free to contact us at

From the current and future space passionate hearts of K-12 and university students everywhere, thank you for your support and helping us to create a better future!


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Hannah Kerner

Amherst, NY United States

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Map of Support 9000 Space Exploration Interested Students