GALACTIC UNITE INITIATIVES
Galactic Unite is changing the world through the inspiration of space exploration. The Future Astronauts of Virgin Galactic have teamed up with Virgin Unite to make a difference in this new age of commercial space travel. Based on the fact that future generations will have opportunities to see the world as never before, Galactic Unite embraces the idea that new advances in science and technology have the potential to unlock answers to global challenges and change the world for the better. Galactic Unite is investing to help future generations make the most of these new advances in three ways: Education, Entrepreneurship and Inspiration. By working together, the future astronauts of Galactic Unite will leverage their knowledge, their resources and their experience to make a positive impact on the world of tomorrow. Utilizing scholarships, competitions, training, mentoring, podcasts, collaborations and so much more, Galactic Unite is striving to build the foundation for a better future.
Galactic Unite Council
The Galactic Unite Council is an advisory group made up of Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts. It was created to help shape Galactic Unite and to give Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts a platform to inspire and empower young minds all over the world. Space travel has always captured the imagination through the excitement of exploration and discovery. We now have a perfect opportunity to use the development of commercial space travel to harness that energy and inspire a whole new generation of dynamic thinkers. Together the opportunities are endless. What we can create in space is only the beginning – what we can inspire in the minds of the next generation can change the world.
Thanks to incredibly generous donations from Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts, Galactic Unite is creating a scholarship programme to support students pursuing collegiate degrees in STEM fields with financial assistance, mentoring, internships and more. Through this programme, Galactic Unite is helping to develop the world’s future leaders.
Student Launch Programme
The first initiative of Galactic Unite was to create a partnership with The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC) and its Student Launch Programme (Student Launch). Student Launch is part of NASA’s Summer of Innovation Programme which, through competition, provides school students annual access to space for experiments from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The goal of the Student Launch Programme is to inspire students to find answers to global challenges through space exploration. The programme engages and encourages students to pursue a science-based education by providing the opportunity to build and launch scientific experiments in a sub-orbital rocket.
2011 marked the fifth year of the Student Launch Programme and the first year that Galactic Unite partnered with the programme. Students from 26 middle schools, 4 high schools and 2 universities took part in the 2011 programme to build multi-sensor electronic experiments which use the environment of suborbital space to answer scientific and engineering questions. The winning experiments were sent into space on May 20, 2011 on NMSGC-provided sounding rockets. (Sounding Rockets are designed to carry experiments that can take measurements (“sounding”) and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight.) These students were then able to retrieve the collected data and make additional analysis based on the results.
Participating in Student Launch can be a life-changing event for students. Quang Tran, a student participant from New Mexico Highlands University, now sees a future for himself in aerospace.
"It is not about the project, it’s how you feel about it - how you contribute to something that carries both your hopes and faith into the sky and brings you something back. This is so emotional, I can't find any words to express it, and I think it's one of the best moments I've ever experienced."
New Mexico Space Grant Consortium
The Student Launch Programme is an initiative of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC). NMSGC is a member of the congressionally funded National Space Grant College and Fellowship Programme which is administered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).