ATLAS Space Explorers Blog: Investing in Space-Bound Youth

ATLAS Space Operations is proud to support the ATLAS Space Explorers Post 2025. The Exploring program is an affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America. Post 2025 is composed of young adults who are interested in STEM experiences and want to learn about possible space-related career opportunities. Post 2025 is different from other STEM activities because the program is designed to mirror the organizational structure and cultural environment of a tech startup. Its members hold titles with corresponding responsibilities, and learn about the business of space, in conjunction with experiencing the fun and excitement of space.

Over the years, Post 2025 projects have included launching a high altitude balloon carrying a Magnitude.io cansat to collect data including pictures, altitude, flight path, temperature, and humidity; contributing to a project that determined the viability of the FAA and NASA supported Unmanned Traffic Management System; and competing in The American Rocketry Challenge. The national shutdown brought an early end to the Post’s participation in the rocketry contest, and the members had to rethink what participation would look like while working within the constraints of COVID-19.

In true startup spirit, the team embraced the work-from-home model that so many other professionals have adopted in the past year. Moving forward, all group meetings would happen virtually, and the group’s leadership would have to diligently coordinate individual efforts that would contribute to team goals. One benefit was the inclusion of members who live outside of Traverse City—Post 2025 now stretches as far as Florida. After some consideration and dialogue, members of Post 2025 decided that the Air Force Association’s StellarXplorers – The National High School Space Challenge – Virtual Competition presented the right challenge for this year’s project. The experience enabled the ASE leadership to practice their dispersed and virtual management, and brought the team together for a welcome dose of youth STEM exposure.

The Space Explorers are stick-with-it-ness personified—they’re already planning for next year—and quickly reinvigorate the professionals that they learn from and work with. To learn more about the ATLAS Space Explorers, visit astropreneur.net.

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