Apply Now: 2024 NASA Planetary Science Summer School

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
March 3, 2024
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Apply Now: 2024 NASA Planetary Science Summer School
NASA Planetary Science Summer School

Now through March 27, 2024, NASA is encouraging applications for its 36th Annual Planetary Science Summer School.

Offered by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, PSSS is a 3-month long early career development experience to help prepare the next generation of planetary science and engineering mission leaders. Participants learn the process of developing a science hypothesis-driven robotic space mission in a concurrent engineering environment while getting an in-depth, first-hand look at mission design, life cycle, costs, schedule and the trade-offs inherent in each.

Session 1: Preparatory Sessions May 9 – July 25.
Culminating Week with JPL’s Team X July 29 – August 2.

Session 2: Preparatory Sessions May 23 – August 8.
Culminating Week with JPL’s Team X August 12 – 16.

A PSSS Informational Application Q&A Webinar will be held on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024 from 1-2 p.m. PST. It will describe the PSSS experience and discuss tips for submitting a strong application. Registration is required (see link below).


Applicants with the following education and career experience are eligible: Science and engineering Doctoral candidates (advancement to candidacy required), recent Ph.D.’s (up to three years beyond their Ph.D.), Postdocs, Junior Faculty with a Ph.D., and non-research Engineering Master-level students within six to nine months of graduation will be considered on a space-available basis.

Open to U.S. Citizens and legal permanent residents and a limited number of Foreign Nationals from non-designated countries living within the U.S at the time of application and during the full session. There is no charge to attend, and applicants from diverse backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply. Diversity, equity and inclusion are important to us, and we strive to create a welcoming environment where participants’ contributions and unique perspectives are valued.

Roughly equivalent in workload to a rigorous 3-hour graduate-level course, participants spend the majority of the first 10 weeks in preparatory webinars acting as a science mission team, prior to spending the final culminating week being mentored by JPL’s Advance Project Design Team, or “Team X” to refine their planetary science mission concept design, then present it to a mock review board of NASA Center experts.

Astrobiology, Astrochemistry,

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻