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Space Astronomy Summer Program

"Creating the next generation of space astronomers"

What is the SASP?

Each summer, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) brings a dozen highly motivated college students to Baltimore, Maryland, for a Space Astronomy Summer Program. The Space Telescope Science Institute is the scientific operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and for the future James Webb Space Telescope. The Space Astronomy Summer Program runs ten weeks, from mid-June to mid-August, and is designed for upper division undergraduates with a strong interest in space astronomy. Students work individually with STScI researchers and staff on research projects that might include data reduction and interpretation, software development, scientific writing, preparing data for public releases. The program affords students the opportunity to attend lectures on a variety of exciting topics related to space astronomy, the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes.

The Space Astronomy Summer Program provides students a fun educational experience within a team spirited environment. Students will receive a stipend of $5200 for the summer and housing assistance.

Astrophysical Research

STScI is one of the world's premier astronomical research institutions, and our scientific staff of over 100 astronomers is at the forefront of some of the most exciting work going on today. Our astrophysics spans the Universe, from the study of our own solar system, to nearby stars with planets, star formation, the structure of the Milky Way, the composition of nearby galaxies, and on to the early Universe, dark energy, and the formation of the first galaxies.

Presenting Hubble Images And Science Results To The public

STScI also specializes in making the results of astrophysical research accessible to the public. Past summer students have worked in such areas as:

  1. Astronomical research, Science writing, and preparing documentation for the press.
  2. Image analysis and web presentation of research results, including the Hubble Heritage program.
  3. Creation and support of Google Sky.
  4. Astronomical artwork, scientific animation and video production.

Goals For The Program

The STScI Space Astronomy Summer Program (SASP) has three broad goals for our student participants.

  1. Expose advanced undergraduates to forefront research in astrophysics.

    Not every student who comes to STScI is involved in an astronomical research project, but all students can hear about the research done at STScI and with Hubble. Students will also learn of the other work done at the Institute to support our missions.

  2. Furnish participants with opportunities for growth, achievement, and personal development.

    For many students, coming to STScI will be a unique experience, more focused and concentrated than they have had before. While here, summer students will discuss with our staff the steps in the career path of a research astronomer; the practicalities of initiating and carrying through major projects.

  3. Place students in a cohort of friends and colleagues for their future.

    Astronomy is a human undertaking, just as any other kind of work, yet astronomy remains a small profession. Developing and maintaining contacts among colleagues and peers can be vital in a successful career.