Four Kiwi tertiary students have been accepted into the NASA International Internship Programme, the Government has announced.
The students, who were also awarded New Zealand Space Scholarships during a ceremony at the Beehive today, were selected from a pool of over 200 applicants.
The scholarship will cover the costs of the internship, including airfares to the US, accommodation, living expenses and visa-related fees.
The successful candidates include two students from the University of Waikato, Rosemary Swears and Steven McCabe, and two from the University of Auckland, Andrew Alder and Hammond Pearce.
The candidates were selected by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and then secondly by NASA from a broader pool of international applicants.
In a statement, Economic Development Minister David Parker said: "The standard of applications demonstrates the high quality of New Zealand’s tertiary education and the way we prepare students to achieve at the highest level in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
The internships, which will run for 10 weeks beginning next month, will see the students based at the NASA Ames Research Centre in Silicon Valley, California.
"This Government is committed to building an innovative and disruptive space industry in New Zealand. I'm pleased this vision includes supporting students like Rose, Steve, Andrew and Hammond as they pursue research in space-related fields at the highest levels," Mr Parker said.
"They are our future innovators, entrepreneurs and space scientists, and we hope they will play a vital role in developing a thriving domestic space industry."
The New Zealand Space Scholarships are part of a pilot and an assessment will be made at the end of the year whether to continue them.