Navajo Technical University named recipient of NASA grants

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Navajo Technical University was awarded grant funding from NASA for projects under development at the campus in Crownpoint.

Three projects each received grants for proposals submitted to the agency's Minority University Research and Education Project, or MUREP.

MUREP awarded $39,991 to strengthen the university's research capacities with a focus on in-space manufacturing under a project entitled, Micro-Gravity Additive Manufacturing of Metals.

NTU was one of 15 colleges and universities to receive grants from MUREP through its Space Technology Artemis Research this month.

Each project under this particular grant supports NASA's advancement in technology needed for its Artemis program, according to a press release from the agency.

The Artemis program is the initiative to return man to the moon and land the first woman there by 2024.

Navajo Preparatory School student Keona Hosteen reacts to cold water running through tubing during an activity at the NASA STEM Day on Sept. 12, 2019 at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint.

Another grant was awarded for $47,794 to assess the possibility of introducing astronomy, physics and environmental engineering courses in the engineering programs at NTU.

The assessment will also examine the possibility of re-establishing the observatory on campus and have it available for use by students and to kindergarten through 12th grade students and the local community.

A project called NASA-Navajo Nation Ne-tdale Ak'is: Expanding Partnerships received $46,650 to develop a concept paper that could result in the first submission by a tribal college to join a nationwide initiative that focuses on broadening participation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce.

NTU has received grants from NASA in previous years and the association with the agency resulted in the two entities collaborating on a STEM Day event for high school students last year.

New Mexico State University and University of New Mexico received grants from NASA as well.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at

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NASA personnel Jeremiah O'Callahan, left, and Raquel Redhouse participate in a panel discussion at the NASA STEM Day on Sept. 12, 2019 at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint.
Priscilla Mobley, activity manager for the NASA Minority University Research and Education Project Aerospace Academy, shows how a sock should be cut during an activity to demonstrate liquid cooling ventilation garments at the NASA STEM Day on Sept. 12, 2019 at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint.