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iLAuNCH to sponsor 20 students for online space academy

The iLAuNCH research collaboration will sponsor 20 students to take part in an online space academy that will teach participants vital industry skills.

The Milo Mission Academy, first announced in March, is being led by Arizona State University and the AROSE consortium bidding to create Australia’s lunar rover.

Lasting 12 weeks, organisers hope the course will make space workforce development accessible to everyone, regardless of location, background or financial position.

AROSE program director Michelle Keegan hopes the program will help grow the local talent pipeline for the sector.


“Importantly, graduates will be able to take the skills they acquire in the Milo Mission Academy and apply them across multiple industries throughout their careers,” she said.

Students will obtain skills that make them highly productive in any business environment.”

The virtual course will begin on 21 March and cost non-sponsored entrants $550 each. Applications are now open and will not close until 25 January 2024. Participants only need to have access to a computer and be able to devote 5 to 10 hours per week towards team projects.

The $180-million iLAuNCH Trailblazer, meanwhile, is a partnership between academic institutions and more than 20 industry partners to accelerate the development of the space manufacturing sector.


Its executive director, Darin Lovett, said providing students with access to education was a key objective for the organisation.

“By facilitating career pathways into the space industry through programs like the Milo Mission Academy, we will provide students with a hands-on, deep-dive understanding of the space mission life cycle, inspiring them to be involved in the space workforce of the future,” said Lovett.

The Milo Mission Academy is the global arm of NASA’s Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L’SPACE) program, currently available to students attending US institutions of higher education. More than 7,000 students from 800 colleges and universities have participated.

It comes after Space Connect reported in March how the federal government granted AROSE $4 million to develop a prototype for lunar rovers as part of Australia’s landmark Moon to Mars Trailblazer initiative.

AROSE – alongside fellow winners of the EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania consortium – will each use the investment to develop a semi-autonomous device that could collect regolith soil samples from the moon’s surface for analysis.

This soil would then be transferred to a facility to turn it into oxygen that could be used to help astronauts breathe in space.

The Moon to Mars initiative is a $150 million investment over five years to drive the growth of Australia’s space sector. Its flagship “trailblazer” element specifically aims to support NASA’s space exploration program and its plan to return humans to the moon before exploring Mars.

AROSE’s initiative comes as rover rival ELO2 has also launched a program to help young people.

The collaboration has teamed up with the One Giant Leap Australia Foundation to give kids the chance to build a scoop that can simulate collecting soil from the moon.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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