NASA Awards $900K to Local College for Future Human Exploration of Planet Mars

PALM DESERT — With a $900,000 grant, College of the Desert (COD) will establish on-campus NASA research for future human exploration of planet Mars.

COD is one of two community colleges in the nation to receive the M-Star Grant Award. NASA is dedicating more than $14 million to 19 U.S. colleges and universities to prepare a new generation of diverse students for careers in the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and math workforce.

COD faculty members Dr. Ahmed Elshafie, Dr. Amira Elsenousy and Professor Michael Gariety, and COD student David Jackson, collaborated on the winning grant project entitled, “A Penetrolyzer for Extracting Oxygen and Hydrogen from Mars Regolith.” The project focuses on finding a way to make life on Mars more sustainable.

“This grant will contribute to our future human exploration of planet Mars in the 2030s,” Elshafie said in a statement.

“Extracting oxygen and hydrogen from the surface of Mars will be a challenge,” Elsenousy said in a statement.

“Hydrogen will be utilized as fuel and oxygen will be used for breathing,” Gariety said in a statement.

Students and the entire community are invited to attend a presentation to learn how this grant will benefit current and future STEM students at COD. The presentation will take place Friday, Nov. 3, from 11 a.m. -12:00 p.m., followed by 30 minutes for interviews and a meet and greet. The event will be held in the Math/Science Building (MSTC) Room 250.

Student and faculty research will also be highlighted at the event. COD and their collaborators from NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory will present how this collaboration will lead to achieving NASA’s goals toward future human planetary exploration.


Image Sources

  • solar-system-11111_1280: Pixabay