CAPCOM News: from the SGAC, ESA, the GEO Health CoP and Amity University

Images of the Perseverance landing site from NASA

The SpaceOps conference will be held in a virtual format this year on the date 3-5 May. SGAC, together with SpaceOps, organizes the Students and Young Professionals activities on the day after the conference. Join us for a Cubesat workshop and Speed Networking session!

When: 6th May
What: Cubesat Workshop + Speed Mentoring + Space Quiz
Fee: No registration Fee
How: Via the SGAC Webpage:

Speed Mentoring:
The Speed Mentoring Event is a great chance to kick-start connections that build over time, create chance meetings and to meet with students, early-stage professionals, experienced mentors and even possibly a future employer in the space operations industry.This event is energizing for both students and young space professionals as well as the senior mentors, providing both groups with a unique networking opportunity.
This workshop is open to students and young professionals. If you aspire to work for a company, an international space agency, or if you are interested in starting your own satellite operations company, then this one day workshop is a great opportunity to learn about the challenges and excitement of space operations, with focus on CubeSats.
Register here!

The premier event for students interested in space (6-7 March 2021):
The UKSEDS National Student Space Conference, now in its 33rd year, is the premier event for students interested in space, usually uniting them with academics and professionals from across the country to network, share knowledge, and discuss the challenges facing the sector.

Careers at the European Space Agency

Life as an ESA YGT: astronaut health and space medicine (23-02-2021)
Elsia Ndeckere-Ziangba

With the launch of the 2021 Young Graduate Trainee recruitment campaign, we’ve been talking to some of our current YGTs about the work they do, to give you a flavour of life at ESA and an idea of the range of opportunities currently on offer.

Amity University, India

Registrations for Earth and Space Exploration Program 2021, Ladakh are Open!

Amity University is collaborating with Cosmic Adventures to bring you a surreal experience of learning and inspiration in the Himalayas! Book your seat now! (June-Oct 2021)

Here is your chance to gain exclusive insights and in-person training from leading science mentors about our planet, the effects of Climate Change and how do we prepare to look for life on Mars! Check out the Explorer and Student options. The Themes for 2021 will cover:

  • Learning from the Past: Origins of Earth and Life
  • Observing the Present: Earth and Climate Change
  • Preparing for the Future: Mars Exploration

For queries, contact:
Book Now!
Amity Astrobiology Website

From ESA: Research on the International Space Station

Space snapshot (23-02-2021)

Does this image give you anxiety or are you already tracking where all the wires go? If the latter, you might have what it takes to be an astronaut!

It is an exciting time for space. With NASA’s latest rover safely on Mars and ESA’s call for the next class of astronauts and, in a first, parastronauts, the space industry is teeming with possibilities. This image taken in ESA’s Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station is a snapshot of the many opportunities in space research and exploration.  

In the centre is the Biolab facility, a fridge-sized unit that hosts biological experiments on micro-organisms, cells, tissue cultures, small plants and small invertebrates. Performing life science experiments in space identifies the role that weightlessness plays at all levels of an organism, from the effects on a single cell up to a complex organism including humans.

The facility has enabled researchers to make some remarkable discoveries, most notable that mammalian immune cells required a mere 42 seconds to adapt to weightlessness, prompting more questions but also an overall positive outlook for long-duration human spaceflight.  The pink glow in the image is from the greenhouse that has enabled many studies on plant growth in space. 

With plans to visit the Moon and Mars, future astronauts will need a regular, fresh source of food as they take on these missions farther away from home. In addition to providing much-needed vitamins and minerals, growing plants in space contributes to sustainability and adds a homey touch to exploration.

Growing plants in the microgravity conditions of the International Space Station has allowed researchers to fine tune the approach: European research showed plants respond best to red and blue light, giving the Columbus module a disco feel.

If you look closely, you can spot Astro Pi Ed to the left of Biolab. As part of ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission (2015–2016) to the ISS, two space-hardened Raspberry Pi computers, called Astro Pis and nicknamed Ed and Izzy, equipped with environmental sensors, were sent to the Space Station. They are regularly used to run students’ and young people’s programs as part of the Astro Pi Challenge. 

Of course, a whole host of researchers, ground control crew, and mission support specialists make space research and exploration possible. The excitement of space continues.  If you think you have what it takes, apply to be part of the team.

Updates from the GEO Health CoP

Upcoming Webinars & Workshops

  • USAID Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) programPEER as a Catalyst for Fire Science and Policy in Colombia (by Dolors Armenteras, National University of Colombia) on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 11:00AM-12:00PM ET (GMT-5) (attached flyer). The speaker will present her research on integrated fire management and its journey to informing a new law in Colombia. This research was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer K. Balch at University of Colorado, Boulder, whose research was funded by NASA and NSF.
  • American Mosquito Control Association Virtual 87th Annual Meeting: This conference will be held virtually from March 2-5, 2021. This meeting will provide an opportunity for members of the mosquito control community – researchers, educators, vector control professionals, industry representatives, students, among others – to share expertise through plenary and poster sessions and symposia. Notably, the NASA Health and Air Quality Applications focus area will support one session (“NASA Earth Observations for Improved Vector-borne Disease Surveillance and Risk Characterization” session with five panelists on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 11:00AM-12:30PM EST (GMT-5)and one presentation in the Disease & Vector Studies session (“Using Satellite Data to Enhance One Health Networks in Vector Control” on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 4:00-4:10PM EST (GMT-5). To learn more about AMCA2021, please review the agenda and registration information.
  • National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences: The team is organizing a satellite session, Implementation Science to Support Public Health Interventions for Climate Change, at the upcoming Consortium of Universities for Global Health Annual Meeting 2021. This virtual session is free and will be held on March 9, 2021 at 11:00AM EST (GMT-5).
  • US Environmental Protection AgencyEPA Tribal Partnership Groups, highlighting the National Tribal Air Association and interests in Environmental Justice on EPA Tribal Partnership Groups on Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 2:30-4:00PM ET (GMT-5). This webinar is part of the U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Webinar Series for Tribes and Indigenous Peoples – to build the capacity of tribal governments, indigenous peoples and other environmental justice practitioners, and discuss priority EJ issues of interest to tribes and indigenous peoples.
  • American Geophysical UnionStorytelling 101: Identifying and Crafting Narrative Themes on March 11, 2021 at 2:00-3:00PM ET (GMT-5) and Storytelling 101: Making Stories (and your Science) on April 15, 2021 at 2:00-3:00PM ET (GMT-5). Archived Webinars are available on the AGU Webinar YouTube channel.
  • US Environmental Protection Agency: Implications of Volatile Chemical Products (VCPs) for Ozone and Particulate Matter in Urban Atmospheres on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 from 3:00-4:00PM EDT (GMT-4).
  • NASA ACCP Air Quality Workshop from Tuesday, March 16 to Thursday, March 18, 2021 from 1:00-5:00PM ET (GMT-4).
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: As part of the Climate Conversations: Pathways to Action monthly webinar, the Climate Conversations: Climate & COVID-19 webinar will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021 from 3:00-4:00PM ET (GMT-4). In this webinar, Laura Helmuth (Scientific American) will moderate a conversation between Georges Benjamin (APHA) and Kris Ebi (University of Washington) that is both reflective about the intersections between climate change and COVID-19 over the last year, and forward-looking at the state of progress on addressing these issues in the U.S.
  • US Environmental Protection Agency: Air Sensor Performance Targets on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 3PM ET (GMT-4). During this webinar, EPA scientists will discuss recommended guidelines that they have developed for testing protocols, metrics, and target values for fine particulate matter and ozone air sensors.
  • American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference 2021: This conference will be held virtually from April 7-11, 2021. More than 4,500 presentations and posters will be presented on topics including climatology and meteorology, land use, medical and health geography, and environmental science.

Upcoming ARSET Training

Upcoming Conference of Note

In a series of three half-day virtual meetings from March 16 – 18, 1:00- 5:00PM EST, the NASA A-CCP Air Quality Workshop will focus on current applications and future opportunities of Aerosol and Clouds, Convection, and Precipitation (A-CCP) observations to support air quality and disaster applications. The workshop will bring together representatives from federal and state operational agencies, private companies and boundary organizations to discuss how NASA A-CCP aerosol products could be better leveraged to inform decision-making activities. The workshop will also provide an opportunity for end users to engage with the A-CCP Designated Observable Applications Study Team to address current satellite uses and challenges as well as future satellite needs.

A tentative agenda will be posted to the workshop website soon, so please check back for details of speakers and panelists. Please register to receive telecon info. Registration is free and easy.

Updates from the GEO Health CoP

Past (Recorded) Workshop

Upcoming Challenge


From HAQAST Team Leader Tracey Holloway

It is my tremendous pleasure to announce the launch of the newest NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (HAQAST)! We are a team of 14, hailing from research institutions across the US, from Florida to Alaska. And we’re headquartered here, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We are at the outset of a four-year mission, which will conclude in late 2025. Our goal? To apply NASA satellite data and products to real-world, air quality and public health needs, wherever they may crop up. And this is where you come in.

While we have our core team, we are in the first stages of building the wider HAQAST community. And it is that wider community—you who are reading this!—who will help determine the course of our applied research. We will soon be looking for stakeholder partners for our Tiger Teams (short term, applied projects focused on specific end-user needs), and we are always looking for input from the stakeholder community on how best to connect NASA data and products with your needs.

So join our newslettercheck out our websitefollow us on Twitter and learn about our PIs’ exciting work.

Scientific Articles

Published by the ad astra vita project

The ad astra vita project aims to promote global space life sciences and health networking, including an annual international conference which is diverse, inclusive, and accessible, provide a resources portal related to medicine in austere and extreme environments, and offer a space health consultancy. It is a philanthropic not-for-profit initiative.

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