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$2.3M in space exploration grants to UNM, NMSU, Navajo Tech

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded about $2.3 million in combined grants to New Mexico universities to financially support minority and underrepresented students in STEM fields and research for space exploration.

The awards to New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico come through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project. NMSU and Navajo Technical University also received research grants, according to a news release.

The fellowships were announced on Tuesday jointly by New Mexico’s congressional delegation, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small, all Democrats.

The funding has been awarded as follows.

NASA Minority University Research and Education Project Awards are:

• New Mexico State University, $165,000 over 3 years.

• University of New Mexico, $165,000 over 3 years.

Cooperative Agreements for Research and Development Programs are:

• NMSU $750,000 for its project, Next Generation Additive Manufacturing for Space Applications. The project is supported by NASA Johnson Space Center, Ames Research Center and White Sands Test Facility and brings together NMSU, New Mexico Tech, UNM and Navajo Tech, according to the release.

Planning Grants to Support Space Technology Opportunities, including for NASA’s Artemis program to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024 are:

• NMSU, in partnership with San Diego State University, received $604,000 for the project, MUREP Advancing Regolith-Related Technologies and Education.

• Navajo Tech received $604,000 for the project Micro-Gravity Additive Manufacturing of Metals.

“New Mexico is at the forefront of a new space economy, and it is vital that all students have access to opportunities to contribute to our country’s space exploration and discovery,” said Udall in a statement.

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