Space Camp
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of United States of America
There is no other camp like it. Space Camp changes lives and forges futures!




  • Space Mission
  • Mars Mission
  • History
  • Experiments
  • Astronaut Simulators
  • Rocket Construction
  • SPACE CAMP Has Global Reach

This fiscal year began with high numbers of international students enrolled in camp programs during the first quarter. we served 2253 students and 88 teachers from 56 international locations. India, for the second year, topped the international roster with 655 students attending camp.

More than 600,000 students and adults have attended SPACE CAMP since the program began in June, 1982.


Step 1 : Choose the Topic Related to Space for writing Essay or making Project .
Step 2 :
Send Ous by E.mail ( Student Name, School Name and Address, Class in which he or She is Studying and Subject / Topic for Essay / Project )
Step 3 :
If any Changes is there in Subject / Topic then same will be Suggested to You and you also get the Registration Form
Step 4 : Prepare your Submission for Essay / Project
Step 5 : Submit Essay / Project along With Registration Form
Step 6 : Participant Certificate will be given by Eastern Guilds for Training and Study.
Step 7 : Shortlisted Entry will be Send for Space Camp
Step 8 :
Shortlisted Student will be Send to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of United States of America and all the Expenditure will be borne by Overseas Organisation. This Include all travel arrangements, visas and conference expense.
( / )


Student from Class 4 to Class 12 are Eligible.

Last date for Submission

All submissions must be received by 30 January For Current Academic year.
Shortlisted Student will be Send to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of United States of America and all the Expenditure will be borne by Overseas Organisation. This Include all travel arrangements, visas and conference expense.

Student mainly Participate by Following two ways
1) Essay Competition
2) Project

Other way to Participate
Designs, essays, stories, models, artwork and any other orbital space settlement materials will be considered Or any other topic student Choose as per His / Her Interest .Or Student Can Choose any one of the Topic from Below


Honeywell funded a total of 282 teachers, and Boeing, 75. Northop Grumman initiated an educator sponsorship sending 16 teachers (as well as expanding the company’s student sponsorship to 48 participants).

For this session 74 teachers came from 20 countries, the U.S., and the U.S. territories. Toyota and the Council of Chief State School Officers helped to sponsor that program that attracts the best teachers in the world including the National Teacher of the Year and the Teacher of the Year from each state and the U.S. territories. A group of the ISC teachers are shown with Toyota officials who include ( front row from left) Yasumichi Ando, Mark Brazeal, Jim Bolte, Yoshikazu Okamoto, Tom Cashin, and Stephanie Deemer (standing behind Tom Cashin).


SPACE CAMP teachers were also honored in India. Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT services company, and Education World, India’s pioneer education news and analysis magazine, annually select the country’s most innovative teachers. Last year, two of the eight finalists had SPACE ACADEMY for Educators prominently listed in their resumes. Nomita Roy, junior school science head of Delhi’s Vasant Valley School, was judged India’s most innovative primary school teacher. She attended SPACE ACADEMY for Educators as part of the Boeing program in July 2007. V. Lakshmi Gandhi, who teaches mathematics at the state board affiliated Abhinava Vidyalaya English Medium High School, Pune, won a special commendation. She attended camp in 2007 as part of the Honeywell educator program and returned in 2009 for the Honeywell advanced educator.

State Department Sponsors Libyans

During the first week in August, 24 students and two teachers from Libya participated in camp activities through a $203,000 sponsorship coordinated with the U.S. State Department. The students were placed on teams with children from America, Italy, and Great Britain who had independently booked camps. The Libyan Ambassador to the United States.

"From Earth to the Universe" Exhibit (All Grade Levels)

"From Earth to the Universe" is a collection of astronomical images that showcase the most dramatic views of the universe. The images represent the incredible variety of astronomical objects that are known to exist -- planets, comets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and the clusters in which they congregate -- and are being exhibited in over 250 locations throughout the world. Over 60 countries are scheduled to host a FETTU exhibit.

Student Opportunity: Odyssey of the Mind

The Earth Observing System Project Science Office is sponsoring an Odyssey of the Mind Long-Term Problem -- Earth Trek. Teams will design and build a small vehicle that will visit four locations. Each time it leaves a location, the vehicle will look different. After leaving one of the locations, it will appear to be a group of vehicles traveling together. The team's performance will incorporate the visits to the locations, the environments and the changes in appearance of the vehicle.

Space Camp®

Group size: Minimum 16
Ages 9 – 11 (nine year olds must currently be in the fourth standard)

Designed to light a spark of interest in science and math through fun activities like Mars and space missions, water experimentation, parachute building and mission patch design activities. Focus on confidence-building, teamwork, and basic math and science concepts.

Space Academy

Group size: Minimum 16
Ages 12 – 14

At the middle school age, students are beginning to explore the career options that interest them. Space Academy imbues participants with valuable soft skills while showing them the real-world applications of the science and math concepts they are learning at school.

Advanced Space Academy

Group size: Minimum 16
Ages 15 – 18

College-accredited program through the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) for one hour of freshmanlevel general science credit. Credit may be transferred to another college or high school to be part of a student’s official transcript. Focus on college prep, leadership training and career planning.
All programs have been designed by an education commission comprising educators, aerospace experts, NASA representatives and veteran astronauts. Over 550,000 trainees of all nationalities have participated in Space Camp® since its inception.


Student from Class 4 to Class 12 are Eligible.

Each entry must be Supported by a teacher, parent or guardian, or other adult mentor associated with the student's education. This means that a responsible adult must review and approve the student entry before it is submitted to Eastern Guilds for Training and Study. The adult should also affirm that the student did the research and writing themselves.

Submission requirements and Format for all entries

Student submissions shall be treated as being free of restrictions and limitations on their use, Reproduction, and publication.

Format for all papers

Entry (except title page and reference pages) is limited to 12 single sided pages, Arial 10 pt. font minimum, no less than single spaced, pages numbered in lower right hand corner.
All figures, photos, and illustrations must have captions.
All references should follow a standard citation format. (Consult your library and/or English teacher)

MLA, Chicago ( Turabian ),
APA, etc. Choose one and stick with it throughout the paper and reference pages.
Paper should be well organized and use headings and subheadings to help make transitions between sections.
Writing should be clear and concise with no spelling or grammatical errors. Please ask your teacher or parent
to proof read your paper to help catch errors.

Title Page (does not count in 12-page limit):
Name of school or sponsoring organization
Complete mailing address for school (address, city, state, zip code or if non-US, address, city, state, country,
postal code)
Teacher or adult sponsor name (First name Last name) and email
Student name (First name Last name) and email
Grade Level of Student ( 4 to 12 )
For teams add: List of student team members and their grade level.

Other required material (is not counted in the 12 page limit):
List of references using standard citation format
Signed statement from supervising adult affirming that the student’s work is original (scan this and include it in the paper as part of the file).
If not possible to include it electronically in the file, then send it separately by e-mail or by regular mail to address above.
Illustrations as desired (optional), must be scanned as .jpg or .pdf files, Power Point Presentation and if applicable 3 D Presentation and also hard copy illustrations.


• The submission must be the student's own work. Plagiarism is forbidden. You may quote short passages, but
material copied from a source must be surrounded in double quotes (") and the source indicated. For
example: "This material copied from somewhere," My Favorite Space Book. Copied materials should rarely be
more than a few lines, and never longer than a few paragraphs. Quoting long passages is forbidden. Entries
caught plagiarizing will be rejected and disposed of. Last year, twelve entries were caught copying materials
from the web. They were eliminated from the competition.

• Instructors, mentors or parents may assist the student in presenting relevant resources, discussing core
concepts and editing, but the work itself, must be entirely student driven.

• Submissions must relate to orbital colonies. Colonies may not be on a planet or moon. Colonies must be
permanent, relatively self- sufficient homes, not temporary work camps.

• If your entry is longer that 10-20 pages, consider including a one page executive summary on the best
features of your entry. Be sure to include original ideas, major focus, and any parts particularly well done in
the executive summary. This will help the judges find the best parts of your entry.

• Avoid including technical material not directly related to your space settlement. This is a space settlement
contest and marginally related material will make it difficult for the judges. If they can't find your space
settlement elements easily you won't score well.

• If you have a large, extensive entry, include a one-page summary of the highlights of your work. This will help
the judges.

• Submissions must be made in hard copy. Electronic submissions are accepted this includes Power Point
presentations, discs, CD's, DVD, videos or anything and paper. NASA does not return contestant submissions.

• An entry form with the appropriate information must be included with the submission. Fill out all fields
unless you are not part of a school class. In this case, leave out the teacher and school information.

• Designs, essays, stories, models, artwork and any other orbital space settlement materials will be considered.

• Always include a bibliography.


Students can search NASA's web sites for the latest information on fundamental aeronautics projects. Detailed reference documents written for university or industry level readers can be found at :

For background information, students can use periodicals such as Scientific American, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Aviation Week,

SAE Aerospace Engineering on-line, AIAA publications, etc.

Students should consult with their high school English teacher to make sure their entries are well written and
references are noted appropriately.

Last date for Submission

All submissions must be received by 30 January For Current Academic year


Make an electronic copy saved as .pdf or .doc with the name of the file as follows-before making the file, read NOTE below :
For individual student entries, file name should be: Lastname Firstname.pdf
Example : Squarepants. Spongebob.pdf

If the name is long, it is okay to abbreviate the name. Leave no spaces in the file name. For team entries, file name should be: TSchoolname.teacherlastname.pdf
Example : THolton.Rapp.pdf

If the name is long, it is okay to abbreviate the name. Leave no spaces in the file name. Please retain the cap letter T so we know it’s a team entry. If more than one team from a school and a teacher is entering, number the file names accordingly…
Example : T1Holton.Rapp.pdf, T2Holton.Rapp.pdf, T3Holton.Rapp.pdf, etc.

NOTE : We cannot accept Word Perfect files. Please arrange to convert your file to Adobe .pdf or MS Word, .doc. Please do not use any other file names such as NASA, the contest, or the title of your paper. We have to enter all the papers into an on-line database and file names must be consistent in order to get this done quickly and allow reviewers time to complete the reviews before your schools end for the year.

Once you have saved your paper with the appropriate file name, it should be emailed as an attachment to E.mail, Subject Line: Project Space.

Note : Do not include your paper in the body of the email. No information in the body of the email is necessary. Once your entry is received, you should get an email confirmation within 72 hours. If you do not get this confirmation, please write to ask if your entry was received.


Each entry Should be filled in a Application Form as Provided by European Education for Further Studies please make a scanned pdf copy* if possible and email it, along with your final entry. And Same Should be Submitted in a hard copy to Eastern Guilds for Training and Study.

*** If you required any further information please feel free to contact us

Note :- For more query you shall Email us to /

Frequently Asked Question ( FAQ )

1. What is Space Camp?
Space Camp is a realistic and interactive astronaut training experience that exposes children to math, science, engineering, and technology concepts in a safe, stimulating and encouraging environment.

2. Where is it located?
Space Camp is located in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

3. When was it established?
Established in 1965 by the State of Alabama, empowered by the U.S. Congress and supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA], the U.S. Space & Rocket Center® is America's leading hands-on space science museum. Since 1982, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center has fostered national and international outreach programs through the Space Camp®, Space Academy®, And Advanced Space Academy® programs.

4. Have other Indian kids attended Space Camp?
In the last year or so, over 200 kids from six schools in Bangalore have attended Space Camp programs. They've all found it to be a once in a lifetime, amazing experience.

5. What are the benefits of the program?
At Space Camp, students get to see real-world applications of the math, science, engineering, and technology concepts they are studying at school. Space Camp programs bring key concepts alive with experiences like space missions, weightlessness, moonwalks, rocket building, robotics, and simulator training. Space Camp, however, means so much more than just space flight training. Meticulously planned, immersive programs hone interpersonal skills - such as teamwork, self-confidence and communication, while positive adult role models help children strengthen their powers of reasoning, solve problems creatively, and enhance their leadership skills.

6. What activities will my child be involved in while at Space Camp?
Space Camp programs are very rigorous, but action and fun filled every day. Participants are put through a host of training activities in groups of 16; each group of 16 is led by experienced counsellors who are with them all day. Physical training at Area 51 helps the group bond as a team and trust each other, natural leaders also tend to emerge in this training. Throughout the day, each day, participants are instructed and informed about the various aspects of space technology with frequent hands on demonstrations. They get to build scale model rockets and actually launch them. They experience 1/6th gravity, high G forces, and other simulators like the multi axis trainer just as actual astronauts do in the course of their training. They are briefed about the importance of the various people in a space mission and their roles and responsibilities. All these activities lead to simulated space missions where the group works as a team in mission control, space shuttle and international space station, to make the mission a success.

7. Will my child be interacting with kids from other schools or countries?
Yes, at any given time, there are hundreds of children from the USA and countries across the globe; very likely there will be some in the group your child may be in. There is a healthy cross-cultural interaction that most children find stimulating and exciting.

Q. Please Tell me in Detail About the “EDUCATION TOUR PROGRAM TO National Aeronautics and Space
Administration of USA. (NASA) - Space Camp ”

The duration of the Space Camp program itself is 8 days, with cultural and sightseeing activities adding another 4 days. With travel time included, the total trip is 14 days. Without the cultural and sightseeing activities, the trip duration is 9-10 days. Space Camp Provides a realistic and interactive astronaut training experience that exposes children to math, science, engineering and technology concepts in a safe. Stimulating and encouraging environment.


DAY 2 :
NEW YORK (After arriving in New York Airport you have to check in Hotel)

DAY 3 & 4 :
NEW YORK -- Tour
Ferry ride to STATUE OF LIBERTY & ELLIS ISLAND , Times Square, Wall Street, World Trade Centre, Rockfeller Centre, Grand Army Plaza, Museum , Federal Hall National Monument, Bowling Green, Trinity Church and Graveyard, Federal reserve Bank, Old Custom's House , Ground Zero ,BROADWAY SHOW , THE UNITED NATIONS BUILDING

DAY 5 :
After Breakfast depart New York , arrive Huntsville- Space Camp ( During entire Space Camp Program Students will stay in US Space and Rocket Centre, Huntsville, Alabama.






DAY 11 & 12 : Free day for student

Transfer to the International airport to board the flight to India



Q. Explain me about the Earlier performance of Indian Student Performance at NASA

Indian students win gold in NASA contest
A team from Jalandhar-based Apeejay School has won the gold medal in a "Space Settlement Design Competition" organised by National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Houston in the US. The 15-member team's achievement at the competition held during July 14-18 became known after Neeraj Kohli, the technical advisor of the team, sent a message to his parents at Solan in Himachal Pradesh. "Planning a colony on Mars " was the theme of the project prepared by the Indian team, which competed with eight others from around the world.

An Appejay alumnus, the 21-year Kohli is a final year student at J P University of Information Technology at Vaknaghat. The budding space scientist said in his message to his parents that he and his team worked very hard for days to earn this honour. After winning the gold, the team was asked to stay on in the US by NASA till July 27. The team members will be acquainted with information regarding space technology. Kohli's elated father Balraj Sahni said he had always been very confident that his son would do well in the competition.

Second Referance
Karnal: Alma mater of Kalpana Chawla -Nivedita Mittal and Palak Aggarwal will represent India in Houston, Texas, at the summer session of the United Space School Foundation in the summer camp on the site of NASA Johnson Space Centre.

Every year NASA chooses students from different countries around the world for two- week astronaut's camp. Nivedita and Palak of Tagore Bal Niketan Senior Secondary School have stood 23rd and 24th respectively to represent India's cultural heritage.

Students from 26 countries have been selected this year for the camp starting from July 26 to August 10. The
students will get the opportunity to witness the working environment and lifestyle of the Astronauts and their
work style.Moreover, the first batch student of NASA, Kamalika Chandla would be the coordinator of the
programme.School principal Rajan Lamba expressed his joy and thanked Kalpana Chawla for setting up the
"The selection criteria of students was based on merit, for which students had to submit a project report and after that they were assessed on four grounds mainly intelligence, knowledge, communication skills and extra cultural activities," he added.

Third Referance
NASA has now declared the names of winners in its supersonic airliner concept contest, an international competition that attracts star talent from all around the world. Students of Indian origin dominated the competition in the high school category and did exceedingly well at the college level as well.

This year’s competition focused on conceptualizing a practical and environment-friendly supersonic airliner. In the US high school category,

2 ( Two ) Indian-origin students were part of the team that took the third prize in the team competition with the design of a supersonic viking transport (SVT) equipped with variable swept wings to reduce the sonic boom. In the non-US category, however, all three individual prizes were claimed by Indian-origin students, two from Singapore and one from Hydrerabad. Sidharth Krishnan aced the category with his V-3, which he thinks will be a realistic goal by year 2020. Sainyam Gautam’s Sonicliner with swept-back wings placed second and Hyderabad’s Kulkarni placed third with his innovative ideas on ease of manufacturing.

In the Non-US college category, two students of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Institute in Gujarat, placed third with their innovative concept named ‘Rastofust’.

Here’s what intrigues me most. With indigenous engineering talent of that caliber hanging around in our schools and families, how is it that the adults amongst us can’t build a 2-bit railway bridge or a design a wellpaved street or come up with some direly needed innovations in public sanitation?

The answer may lie in the fact that none of the Indian students were affected or influenced by any governmental entity. There is news that India’s state-run airline is almost bankrupt and wants to defer its loan payments, reduce its employee privileges, and is in the negative by almost a billion dollars. Air India’s best bet may be to let some of our school-going kids manage the enter prize. Their management skills may be just as sharp or even better than their math.

Fourth Referance
WASHINGTON : An undergraduate team from the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Institute in Gujarat has been declared runner-up in the non-US category of a NASA competition to design a supersonic airliner.

Named "Rastofust", the design of the supersonic airliner was designed by Sahaj Panchal and Dhrumir Patel, NASA said yesterday while announcing the result of its contest.

The top slot in the non-US category was grabbed by students from the University of Tokyo, Japan. College students from the US, Japan and India researched technology and created concepts for a supersonic passenger jet as part of a competition sponsored by the Fundamental Aeronautics Program in NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, NASA said.

The participants were challenged to design a small supersonic airliner and submit a research paper limited to 25 pages. Designs had to be efficient, environmentally friendly, low sonic boom commercial aircraft that could be ready for initial service by 2020.

A team of undergraduates from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and a team of graduate students from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta tied for first place in the US division, it said.

Technical Question

Q. Exactly what is gravity?
We do not know exactly. We can define what it is as a field of influence, and with general relativity we can define a language which states that it is a property of our real world that is mathematically equivalent to not just the geometry of space-time, but equivalent to space-time itself. Some think that it is made up of particles called gravitons, which flit about at the speed of light just as photons do. In any true fundamental sense, we do not know what gravity is, we only know how it operates in various corners of our universe. Without gravity, there would be no space and time.

Q. How do we know that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy and not some other kind of flat system of stars?
We know it is a kind of flat system of stars because when we look at the night sky, the Milky Way's stars are arrayed along a rather thin band across the sky to form the familiar Milky Way. Telescopically, we can study other galaxies and we see that they come in three basic types: Spirals, Ellipticals and Irregulars. The Milky Way cannot be of the last two categories because no amount of juggling of position of the Sun in these types of galaxies would give us the kind of night sky that we see. So by the process of elimination, the Milky Way must be some kind of spiral galaxy.

Q. If the Milky Way was the size of a coffee cup, how big would the rest of the universe be?
The Milky Way has a radius of about 50,000 light years. The visible universe has a radius of about 15 billion light years or 300,000 times the size of the Milky Way. So for an 8-centimeter-wide coffee cup as the Milky Way, the VISIBLE universe would be a sphere about 48 kilometers (almost 30 miles) in radius...give or take.

Q. Is it some kind of conspiracy that astronomers only talk about other galaxies and not the Milky Way?

No. Galactic research is one of the most active areas in astronomy. It is just that out of the hundreds of research papers written about this subject every year, few attract much media attention. So the average person on the street doesn't hear much about it. In large terms, astronomers study the interstellar medium and stellar evolution in our galaxy, but discussions of the large-scale shape of the Milky Way are hampered by the fact that we can never get outside of the Milky Way to really see what it looks like.

As for conspiracies, you will not find them in science, except that lack of interest and resources can sometimes be interpreted as a conspiracy when in fact there simply are not enough astronomers and resources to advance a subject very fast at a given time. But over a few decades, most subjects in astronomy get their proper due and make progress. You just have to be patient; after all, we have to leave something for our children to do!

Q. Why send people into space when robotic spacecraft usually cost less?
Humans and robots each have their own special roles in space.

Robots are best qualified for missions that require precise, repetitive measurements or maneuvers, and for missions that last for a long time, such as trips to the outer planets.

Humans remain better equipped than robots for tasks that involve analytical decision-making or constant adjustments.

By launching humans into space, we also gain unique insights into the workings of the human body, many of which are masked or changed by gravity when a person is on the Earth.

To find out more about sending humans into space, please visit the Web site below.

Q. When was the last solar eclipse seen from North America, and when will the next one happen?
The last solar eclipse was on May 10, 1994. It was annular and could be seen in the United States. The next U.S. eclipse will be on May 20, 2012, and will also be annular. Similar eclipses occur 18 years apart in the Saros Cycle.

Q. Why don't solar eclipses occur exactly at noon?
Because the geometry required for a total solar eclipse has nothing to do with local noon. It has to do with when the lunar shadow sweeps across your location during the time when the Sun is above the horizon. Even so, it is possible for the Sun to be in full eclipse before it rises at your particular location!

Q. How much does a spacecraft weigh when it is in space?
An object in space is said to be in a state of weightlessness, although its original mass remains the same. (Mass can be understood as a measurement of inertia, the resistance of an object to be set in motion or stopped from motion.) Objects in space near the Earth, the Moon or other large bodies retain a small amount of weight due to the tiny amount of planetary gravity that continues to pull on them. However, orbital motion reduces this condition to an extremely low level of gravity known as microgravity (about one-millionth of the normal gravity we feel at the Earth's surface). When an object is in orbit about a large body like a planet, it is traveling just fast enough to fall in a continuous curved path around the planet, without flying off or falling down to the planet's surface. This free fall results in microgravity.

Thus, when a Space Shuttle crew wants to land, the astronauts fire the orbiter's engines directly into its forward path, slowing the Space Shuttle enough that it drops out of orbit.

Q. When are we going to Mars? And when are we going back to the Moon?
We must accomplish at least four objectives before we are prepared for a Mars mission. We must successfully build and operate the planned International Space Station, gain working-level experience with other nations in space cooperation, develop an affordable mission scenario that can be accomplished in about one decade, and allow time for the world economy to improve substantially. With these goals in mind, NASA currently plans to operate the Space Station for at least the first decade of the next century; sending astronauts back to the Moon or on to Mars during the second decade of the new century. This timeframe could change with technological breakthroughs.

Q. Is NASA using ion power in its spacecraft?
NASA has been working on ion propulsion and nuclear propulsion technologies for decades, and ion thrusters are commonly used on satellites to provide gentle "station-keeping" nudges to keep them in the right orbit.In October 1998, NASA launched the Deep Space 1 spacecraft to perform an asteroid flyby later in 1999. It was a virtual test bed of new, exotic technology, including the first ion drive which supplied the main thrust for the voyage. Ion motors sound exotic, and they are, but they aren't in the league of "warp drive" or other stock propulsion systems used in science fiction stories. Still, the name does have a certain, mysterious, ring to it!

Q. How are stars born?
We haven't been able to observe in detail all of the stages in this process, but from many specific young objects we have studied, it all seems to start with a dense, interstellar cloud many light years across. For reasons that we do not fully understand, small regions within such a cloud perhaps a fraction of a light year across begin to collapse under their own gravity.

As the collapse continues, the center of this core region becomes denser and denser, climbing from only 100 atoms per cubic centimeter to millions of atoms per cubic centimeter and higher. As it collapses, whatever very slight rotation it originally had gets amplified so that, like a figure skater on ice, it spins faster and faster. Although the gas falling along the axis of the collapsing cloud feels nothing more than the gravitational force of the central core, along the equator of the object, centrifugal forces due to its spinning become so strong that they impede the collapse along this direction. The cloud collapses into a flattened disk with a central bulge containing most of the mass, and it is in this central object that the star will be born.

We see many rotating cloud cores like this, and many with a disk-like shape, so we are pretty certain we understand this phase of the evolution of stars, but what we don't fully understand is why the core collapses in the first place. There seem to be many things that can cause this physically; perhaps all of them occur in one cloud or another.

Q. What is the temperature in space?
Temperatures in space depend on whether the thermometer is in sunlight or darkness. Near the Earth and the Moon, objects in direct sunlight can heat up to temperatures of about 250 degrees F (121 degrees C). In the shade, objects can cool down to around -250 degrees F (-156 degrees C). This extreme range is the reason why the thermal designs of spacecraft and spacesuits are so important.

Q. Is there really sound in space?

What is sound? It is a pressure wave. So long as you have some kind of gaseous medium, you will have the possibility of forming pressure waves in it by "shocking" it in some way. In space, the interplanetary medium is a very dilute gas at a density of about 10 atoms per cubic centimeter, and the speed of sound in this medium is about 300 kilometers per second. Typical disturbances due to solar storms and "magneto-sonic turbulence" at the Earth's magnetopause have scales of hundreds of kilometers, so the acoustic wavelengths are enormous. Human ears would never hear them, but we can technologically detect these pressure changes and play them back for our ears to hear by electronically compressing them.

Q. If you towed enough stars into a region the size of the Earth's orbit, could you make a black hole?
You would have to do it so carefully that the stars would not gravitationally eject each other before the event horizon has expanded to 1 AU (Astronomical Unit -- 1 AU = 93 million miles). In its simplest definition, an Astronomical Unit is approximately the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is a derived constant and used to indicate distances within the Solar System. In nature, supermassive black holes are formed from small black holes that eat about one star each year...gradually. Click on the link below to understand how to build a supermassive black hole.

Q. What is on the other side of a black hole?
We don't know, other than theoretically, what might be inside of a black hole (if that is what you mean by "the other side"). Inside, we encounter the surface of the object that collapsed to make the black hole in the first place, and because we cannot tunnel inside this body, all we see is a solid surface. Mathematicians and physicists have theorized a hollow black hole that doesn't require the collapse of a star to form it. This type of black hole is imagined to have an exotic geometry and be a place where time travel is possible.

Q. Can a star clog a black hole that is swallowing it?
No. A black hole is not really like a drain pipe! In fact, if it consumes matter at too ferocious a rate, the radiation pressure generated by the in-falling matter provides tremendous resistance to the flow of matter. The rate at which matter can fall into a black hole is regulated to what is called the Eddington Accretion Rate, which depends on the mass of the black hole. Also, it all depends on whether the star has been captured into orbit or is just passing by. Orbital capture means that the black hole, over the course of millions of years, can leisurely nibble away at the star "without choking."

Q. How is it possible for time to change inside a black hole?
In general relativity, time and space are a set of variables that can be used to parameterize the geometry of spacetime and the kinds of geodesics that are possible. But they are not the only kinds of variables that form a set of four coordinates that "span" the dimensionality of space-time. In probing the mathematics of black holes, physicists have discovered other sets of coordinates that are even better. For example, the event horizon appears in the mathematics as a "coordinate singularity" if you use the coordinate set (x, y, z, t) or (t, r, theta, phi), but if you use the "Kruskal-Szekeres" coordinates, it vanishes completely. There is only one true singularity in a non-rotating Schwartzschild black hole solution, and that is the one at r=0, at the event horizon, the curvature of space is non-infinite. That means that coordinate singularities are not real singularities and can be mathematically transformed away. Now, if you study what happens to the Kruskal-Szekeres coordinate system as you pass inside the black hole event horizon, nothing unusual happens. But in the conventional Newtonian (x, y, z, t) system, if you look at the formula for the so-called "metric," you see that the space and time parts reverse themselves. This means that just inside the horizon, space becomes time-like and time becomes space-like. What we call time does change to something with the mathematical properties we have normally associated with space. This sounds pretty bizarre, but consider that we are using a non-proper coordinate system in the first place. It is possible that time changes somehow inside a black hole, but that is an experiment we will never be able to test because we can never receive information from inside a black hole.

Q. What happens when black holes touch?
Their event horizons distort into a dumbbell shape so that the midpoint between them initially lies on the surface of both event horizons. Then in the next instant, from the standpoint of a local observer who is falling onto them, it is inside the merged horizon.

Q. For a black hole the size of our Solar System, could you avoid its singularity?
Not for a non-rotating black hole. The internal geometry prevents avoiding the central singularity for a time much longer than the light travel time from the event horizon to its center...a few hours. For rotating black holes, in principle you could avoid the singularity by simply choosing not to enter the equatorial plane where the ring singularity lives.

Q. What happens to time as you pass through an event horizon and approach the singularity?
We are guided in our understanding of the interior of black holes by the theory of general relativity developed by Albert Einstein, and in particular, the mathematics of the complete, relativistic equation for gravity and space-time. This theory describes, in considerable mathematical detail, both those regions of space-time that are accessible to humans and those that are accessible only by individual observers but not distant observers. For black holes, distant observers will see only the outside of the event horizon, while individual observers falling into the black hole will experience quite another "reality." General relativity predicts that for distant observers outside the horizon, they will experience the three space-like coordinates and one time-like coordinate, as they always have.

For someone falling into a black hole and crossing the horizon, this crossing is mathematically predicted to involve the transformation of your single time-like coordinate into a space-like coordinate, and your three space-like coordinates into three time-like coordinates. Along any of these three former space-like coordinates, they now all terminate on the singularity; you're experiencing them as time-like now. All choices always terminate on the singularity -- at least in the case of a non-rotating black hole. The coordinate which used to measure external time now has a space-like character which affords you some wiggle room, but dynamically, in terms of these new reversed space and time coordinates, you find that no stable orbits about the singularity are possible no matter what you try to do. Without any stable orbits, and the inexorable freefall into the singularity, relativists often refer to this as the collapse of space-time geometry.

Q. Is information about what fell into a black hole stored on its event horizon?

It seems that is indeed the case. Recent calculations by the folks who study quantum gravity theory and superstrings have confirmed what Stephen Hawking and his collaborators proposed a decade or more ago. Evidently, the information contained in matter that falls into a black hole is by some curious means encoded in the pattern of frozen quantum fields at the horizon. This raises some interesting possibilities that we could resurrect clocks, humans, spacecraft, and whole planets into something like their pristine form if we could magically reverse the in-fall and collapse process. Many believe that this mathematical result means that we have reached a watershed moment in history in understanding the connection between quantum mechanics and gravitation theory. Quantum mechanics deals with statements about the information that we can extract about a quantum mechanical process involving observation. Now this same information language can be applied to configurations of the gravitational field and space-time itself.

Q. What is the importance of black holes to cosmology?
Indirectly, they tell us that our relativistic theory of gravity and space-time provided by Einstein's general relativity is fundamentally correct, so that when we use these same equations to study cosmology we have some confidence that they may be correct. Directly, black holes tell us that the universe can hide much of its matter in a way that still contributes to the total mass of the universe, but may not contribute to the abundances of certain primordial elements such as hydrogen and helium. If enough black holes were produced soon after the Big Bang but before the first few minutes, this could have an impact on the relationship between how rapidly the universe is expanding and the origin ofthe primordial element abundances. But it is expected that most black holes formed long after the Big Bang by stellar evolution, and these black holes may contribute to the missing mass in the universe up to the maximum limit set by the primordial element abundances themselves. It is a bit complex, but black holes are cosmologically important from many different standpoints.

Q. Do black holes die if they are not fed?
No, they just stay at the same mass until they slowly evaporate over trillions of years.

Q. Will our universe expand and bump into other universes?
We don't really know what the universe looks like beyond the visible horizon we see around us, but all modern theories say there is plenty more space "out there." The most interesting prospect is described by inflationary Big Bang cosmology. If the universe emerged from a quantum patch of energy in a primordial space-time, it inflated until now the limits of our particular "patch" could be 10^100 light years or more. Beyond this patch is possibly an infinitude of other "patches," each with slightly different physical properties. In the remote future, our visible universe will inexorably expand at the speed of light until these distant patches come into view. The smooth and uniform conditions we see around us today will be replaced by very nonuniform conditions as more of these distant patches come into our horizon. In a truly infinite universe, there will be an infinite number of these patchwork universes.

Q. Where does space come from?
This is a very complicated question to answer -- and frankly, we do not yet fully understand how to answer it. According to Einstein's General Relativity, which is our premier way of explaining how gravity works, it makes no formal distinction between the description of what a gravitational field is, and what space-time is.

Essentially, space is what we refer to as three of the four dimensions to a more comprehensive entity called the spacetime continuum, and this continuum is itself just another name for the gravitational field of the universe. If you take away this gravitational field -- space-time itself vanishes! To ask where space comes from is the same as asking, according to general relativity, where this gravitational field came from originally, and that gets us to asking what were the circumstances that caused the Big Bang itself. We don't really know.

Q. How could there not have been something before the Big Bang?
Nature has over the years presented us with many physical situations where our intuition about how things "ought" to behave has been shown to be absolutely false. The speed of light is an absolute speed limit; people age differently if they are moving, or in strong gravitational fields; space can dilate; particles have wave-like properties; objects can be in many places at the same time; matter can be created out of pure energy; matter can be created spontaneously out of the vacuum. The list is actually quite long. So, as to how it is that the universe "may"' not have required something or some event "before" the Big Bang to start the process, this may be just another example of our intuitions demanding a phenomenon that nature simply did not need to provide to get the job done.

In the quantum world -- the world that the universe inhabited when it was less than a second old --many things work very differently. One of these is that time itself does not mean quite the same thing as it does to us in the world at large. Although we have no complete theory of the relevant physics, there are many indications from the mathematics that yield sound experimental results that time itself may have ceased to have much meaning near the Big Bang event. This means that there was no "time" as we know this concept "before" the Big Bang. That being the case, the question of what happened before the Big Bang is now a question without any possible physical answer. The evolution of the universe has always been a process of transformation from one state to the next as the universe has expanded. At some point in this process, looking back at the Big Bang, we enter a state so removed from any that we now know, that even the laws that govern it become totally obscure to science itself. In the quantum world, we see things "appearing" out of nothing all the time. The universe may have done the same thing. What this means to us may never be fully understood.

Q. What facts disprove the Big Bang Theory?
Right now, the only serious problem facing Big Bang cosmology is that the NASA COBE satellite has shown that the cosmic background radiation is slightly lumpy in a way predicted by a version of Big Bang cosmology called "inflationary Big Bang cosmology." This version, however, requires that the universe have an average density that is exactly its "critical density" given how fast it is currently expanding. But when astronomers use a variety of independent observational techniques to measure what the density of our universe is, the numbers seem to come up short by a factor between two and five. The recent study of supernovae located some 5 billion light years away have, again, indicated that the universe seems to have about five times less density than inflationary cosmology demands that it must have to be consistent with the COBE measurements. Something is not adding up, but too many other things DO add up to favor Big Bang cosmology. No astronomer is even remotely suggesting that Big Bang cosmology is incorrect; only that we still do not know exactly the values of the specific parameters that define Big Bang cosmology.

There seemed to be problem with the age of the universe turning out to be shorter than the ages of the oldest stars, but the Hipparcos Satellite recalibrated the distance estimates, and now the ages of stars and cosmos are within about 10 percent of each other. The COBE/supernova problem may be resolved once we get more, distant supernovas to study.

Q. Is it true that no telescope will ever see the Big Bang because of the transparency of the universe when it was young?
Well, not quite. The statement is true for telescopes that use electromagnetic radiation as the information carrier, because during the time before about 300,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe contained hot plasma which prevented light from traveling very far before getting scattered. But for telescopes that detect neutrinos, you can (inprinciple) see a cosmic background from neutrinos which can penetrate right through the plasma like it wasn't there at all. Neutrino telescopes would let you see how rough the universe looked all the way to a millisecond after the Big Bang. Then there is gravitational radiation which would yield a "picture" of how lumpy the universe was all the way back to possibly the Planck Era itself just after the Big Bang. So, the transparency of the universe depends on the kind of telescope you use. Check out Beyond Einstein -- From the Big Bang to Black Holes Web site that provides an overview of the complex nature of our universe.

Q. What is the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)?
The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) was renamed Spitzer Space Telescope in honor of Dr. Lyman Spitzer Jr., a widely known authority in the field of theoretical astrophysics. The Spitzer Telescope marks the finale of NASA's Great Observatories program, which includes the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Its unprecedented infrared sensitivity will allow astronomers to capture what they affectionately call "the old, the cold, and the dirty," referring to the coldest, oldest, and most dust-obscured objects and processes in the universe. The observatory's amazing ability to sleuth around for low-temperature objects will also aid in the search for planetary systems in the making, some of which may breed Earth-like planets harboring life. The mission is a cornerstone of NASA's Origins Program, which seeks to answer the questions, "Where did we come from? Are we alone?"

Q. How much younger are astronauts after they return from orbit?
When an astronaut returns home they will be 0.000023 seconds younger for each day they spend in orbit. For a oneyear stay on the International Space Station, the returning astronauts will be about 0.0085 seconds younger. Not much to get excited about, but it is measurable on a good stopwatch if the experiment is set up correctly.

Q. How much does the Space Shuttle cost?
The Space Shuttle Endeavour, the orbiter built to replace the Space Shuttle Challenger, cost approximately $1.7 billion.

Q. What are the names of the Space Shuttle orbiters?
Their names, in the order they were built, are Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour. The Enterprise was flown only within Earth's atmosphere, during Shuttle approach and landing tests conducted in 1977. Columbia flew the first five Shuttle missions, beginning in April 1981, and was modified to fly extended-duration missions as long as 16 days. Columbia and its seven-member crew were lost during reentry on Feb. 1, 2003. Challenger was built as a vibration-test vehicle and then upgraded to become the second operational Shuttle. The Challenger and its seven-member crew were lost in a launch accident on Jan. 28, 1986. Discovery made its first flight in August 1984, and Atlantis followed in October 1985. Endeavour, built to replace Challenger, made its debut in May 1992 with a dramatic mission that featured the rescue of a stranded Intelsat 6 commercial communications satellite. The link below will take you to the NASA Orbiter Fleet site providing descriptions of the Space Shuttles.

Q. How much does it cost to launch a Space Shuttle?
The average cost to launch a Space Shuttle is about $450 million per mission.

Q. Can I apply to take a ride on the Space Shuttle? Can I be the first kid in Space?
NASA has no immediate plans to send children, teenagers or any other general citizens into space. For the near future at least, space flight remains too risky and too expensive for anyone but highly trained astronauts and payload specialists. However, one of our goals is to help industry develop new rocket systems that would make space flight much more simple and routine, so that many more people could go into orbit in the future.

Q. How do astronauts in space go to the bathroom and take care of their personal hygiene?
Astronauts brush their teeth just like they do on Earth. There is no shower on the orbiter, so astronauts must make do with sponge baths until they return home. Each Space Shuttle has a toilet that can be used by both men and women. Designed to be as much as possible like those on Earth, the units use flowing air instead of water to move waste through the system. Solid wastes are compressed and stored onboard, and then removed after landing. Wastewater is vented to space, although future systems may recycle it, such as they do on the International Space Station. The air is filtered to remove odor and bacteria and then returned to the cabin.

Q. What is the International Space Station used for?
The International Space Station (ISS), the largest international scientific and technological endeavor ever undertaken, draws on the resources and scientific expertise of 16 nations around the world. Canada, Japan, 11 members of the European Space Agency, Russia and Brazil are our partners. It is a permanent laboratory where gravity, temperature and pressure can be manipulated in a variety of scientific and engineering pursuits in ways that are impossible in groundbased laboratories.

Q. How has NASA benefited the United States?
NASA has the smallest budget of the major agencies in the federal government -- less than 1 percent since 1977. But even with that relatively small budget, NASA has expanded human knowledge through a program of exploration and discovery. Virtually every aircraft utilizes technology pioneered by NASA. Aeronautics is one of the nation's strongest industries, employing almost one million Americans. The U.S. aerospace industry generates over $40 billion in annual exports and $30 billion in positive balance of trade each year. New industries have been built on space technology, including personal computers, advanced medical equipment, communications satellites, weather forecasting and natural resource mapping. NASA's high-technology research and development generates jobs, the demands for goods and services, and new technologies in the private sector. Many NASA technologies contribute to research in education, transportation, pollution control, rain forest protection and health care.

Q. How do I become an astronaut?
Any adult man or woman in excellent physical condition who meets the basic qualifications can be selected to enter astronaut training. For mission specialists and pilot astronauts, the minimum requirements include a bachelor's degree in engineering, science or mathematics from an accredited institution. Three years of related experience must follow the degree, and an advanced degree is desirable. Pilot astronauts must have at least 1,000 hours of experience in jet aircraft, and they need better vision than mission specialists. Becoming an astronaut is extremely competitive, with an average of more than 4,000 applicants for about 20 openings every two years. Astronaut recruiting occurs periodically. You can find the qualifications for becoming an astronaut at the website link listed below or you can write to :

Astronaut Selection Office
NASA Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX 77058
Astronaut Qualifications/Training

Q. What is an astronaut's salary?
Salaries for civilian Astronaut Candidates are based on the Federal Government's General Schedule pay scale for grades GS-12 through GS-13. Each person's grade is determined according to his/her academic achievements and experience. Currently, a GS-12 starts at $65,140 per year and a GS-13 can earn up to $100,701 per year. Military Astronaut Candidates are assigned to the Johnson Space Center and remain in an active duty status for pay, benefits, leave, and other similar military matters.

• There will be a special Life Support category. Entries with strength in life support and/or describe biology laboratories and experiments that take advantage of variable psuedo-gravity levels and the radiation environment inside space colonies will be considered for this category.

• Contestants give NASA the right to publish their submissions without restriction as a condition for entering the contest.

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