Congratulations to Stephen Samples on being awarded the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship!


Stephen Samples was recently awarded the prestigious NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship for his research proposal on developing the Miniature Xenon Ion (MiXI) for SmallSat propulsion.

The goal of NSTRF is to sponsor U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for our Nation’s science, exploration and economic future. NASA Space Technology Fellows will perform innovative, space-technology research at their respective campuses and at NASA Centers and/or at nonprofit U.S. Research and Development (R&D) laboratories. Awards are made in the form of training grants to accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees, with the faculty advisor serving as the principal investigator.

In addition to his/her faculty advisor, each student will be matched with a technically relevant and community-engaged researcher, usually at a NASA Center, who will serve as the student’s professional research collaborator. The research collaborator will serve as the conduit into the larger technical community corresponding to the student’s research interests.

NASA Space Technology Research Fellows will perform research at their respective campuses and at NASA Centers and/or at nonprofit U.S. R&D laboratories. Through this experience, NSTRF graduate researchers will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with leading engineers and scientists in the students’ chosen area of study; they will be able to take advantage of broader and/or deeper space technology research opportunities directly related to their educational and career objectives, acquire a more detailed understanding of the potential end applications of their space technology efforts, directly disseminate their research results within the NASA/nonprofit U.S. R&D lab community, and enhance their understanding of the research process.

The visiting technologist experience is an integral part of a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. Ten weeks per year is the target duration, though the actual weeks chosen (number and timeframe during the year) will depend upon the student, his/her faculty advisor, and the NASA or R&D lab research collaborator.
NSTRF Release: A High Isp Miniature Ion Thruster for SmallSat Primary Propulsion