NASA program awards MTSU $31,000

MTSU will use most of its $31,000 in funds recently awarded by the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium for various space and earth science projects by students.

Tenn Space Grant Consortium logo web

The rest of the money will support the annual statewide Math and Science Education Research Conference, which will be held Feb. 2-3, 2012, in Murfreesboro.

MTSU will bolster the allocation from the NASA-funded consortium with more than $24,000 in matching funds.

One of the projects supported by the funds is the Department of Engineering Technology’s award-winning MTSU moon buggy.

Under the guidance of Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, associate dean in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, undergraduates will build a human-powered vehicle and enter it in the annual Great Moonbuggy Race to be held in April 2012 in Huntsville, Ala.

Other projects that will benefit from the consortium grant include undergraduate involvement in the Department of Aerospace’s flight-operations center simulator, undergraduate research in the Departments of Geosciences and Physics and Astronomy, and a student’s involvement in MTSU’s Math and Science Education doctoral program.

MTSU’s involvement in the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium dates back to 1999.

For more information, contact MTSU’s campus representative to the consortium, Dr. Mark Abolins of the Department of Geosciences, at 615-594-4210 or

— Gina K. Logue (