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Welcome to the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium's Website!

As one of 52 members of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, our mission is to expand opportunities for Pennsylvanians to learn about and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space programs by supporting and enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach programs.

click here for more of Dr. Christopher House's welcome message.

Seed Grant Opportunity!

The Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium is currently accepting seed grant proposals for the 2016-2017 budget year. For more information on our seed grant program, and proposal guidelines, click HERE

Balloons Into Eclipse


Balloons Into Eclipse On August 21, 2017, the Montana Space Grant Consortium is hosting a program called “Balloons into Eclipse”. On this date, the continental U.S. will experience its first total eclipse since 1979. Teams of students will conduct high altitude balloon flights from 9-12 locations along the path of the total eclipse, from Oregon to South Carolina. These balloons will capture live video and images of the eclipse from near space, and send them to the NASA website. In addition to the primary camera, each team will fly a secondary payload of their choice.

Project milestones:

  • 2015: fundraise, organize, participant selection, develop common payload
  • December 2015: distribute common camera/tracking payload kits
  • Summer 2016: virtual workshops to test common payloads
  • 2015 – 2017: develop secondary payloads
  • June 2017: dry run with at least one flight per location

Currently this effort is focused on college teams associated with Space Grant consortia, but has the potential for expansion should support be available.

For more information visit:






NASTAR Center Student Payload Testing


The NASTAR Center is a one-of-a-kind commercial facility with an altitude chamber, high performance human centrifuge, spatial disorientation training devices, an ejection seat trainer, and aircraft simulators. All of the NASTAR Center’s equipment was manufactured by its parent company, Environmental Tectonics Corporation (ETC). NASTAR opened its doors in 2007; ETC has been in business since 1969. The NASTAR Center provides training services for the commercial space, military aviation, civil aviation, and education markets.

Assets and facilities at the NASTAR Center provide significant opportunities for STEM learning in an informal setting and ETC has dedicated resources to educational programming. Because it is a commercial facility, teachers and students can readily access NASTAR equipment and the NASTAR Center can quickly institute programs that respond to market needs.

The NASTAR Center has developed procedures that allow cubesat-size (4” x 4” x 4”) self-contained experiments to be flown in its centrifuge on the same profile used for commercial suborbital spaceflight training. Experiments will be subjected to up to 6 Gx (fore and aft direction) and 4 Gz (up and down direction) during the launch and reentry portions of the flight. In the altitude chamber, experiments can be “flown” to a pressure altitude equivalent to 100,000 feet.

Facilities are available Monday – Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Experiments must be self contained, with their own power and data acquisition systems. Experiments will also have to undergo a safety review by ETC personnel prior to flight approval.


Experiment packages will be flown in the centrifuge on an individual basis (one at a time) at a cost of $400.00 per flight for the existing suborbital spaceflight profile. If a custom G profile is desired, a separate price will need to be calculated.

The cost for altitude chamber testing is $200.00 per experiment. Experiments will be flown to a pressure altitude of up to 100,000 feet and will remain at that altitude for 15 minutes. If a longer duration at altitude is desired, a separate price will need to be calculated.

The experiment provider may be present during the test to monitor their payload and retrieve results immediately after the flight.


The NASTAR Center will provide equipment operators for the centrifuge and altitude chamber.

Expected Results

Researchers and experiment providers will receive their payload and a printout of the actual flight profile.

Contact Information

Principal Investigator:
Gregory P. Kennedy
Director of Educational Programs
The NASTAR Center
125 James Way
Southampton, PA 18966
(215) 355-9100 X1512 (voice)
Email: E-mail:

CMU Students Create Inflatable Martian Greenhouse

Carnegie Mellon University has developed two new interdisciplinary courses to allow students the chance to design and build a prototype biome in which to grow plants for Mars. Check it out HERE!

Check out our Alumni Page!

Our Alumni Page contains profiles of students from various Universities in Pennsylvania who participated in one of many great programs through Pennsylvania/NASA Space Grant. The page can be found by visiting or by clicking the link found in the sidebar.

If you are a PA Space Grant alumni and would like to be added to this page, or if you would like to have your profile updated please contact us at

Announcement List about NASA internships for persons with disabilities

If you would like to subscribe to an announcement-only list about NASA internships for persons with disabilities, please send an E-mail to with 'subscribe' in the Subject field, OR by visiting the list page at



Five Pennsbury teachers participated in Science-based workshops at the NASTAR Center in July. Pictured are Eileen Koch, Alison Majikis, and Katie Duncan (second, third, and fourth from left); Robyn Rowlands (seventh from left); and Kristin Slota (third from right). NASTAR’s Greg Kennedy, a Pennsbury Partner, is on the far left

2016 Temple Summer Robotics Team

Led by Dr. John Helferty

Note from a happy parent: John Helferty is truly a blessing to the children of Philadelphia. This program is awesome!!! His personality and efforts to get youth involved in college and thinking about careers is amazing. This experience has been invaluable and will help our son as he begins to focus on his future college/ career.

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