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Volume 19 – March 26, 2010


Book Signing Events

My Dream of Stars is out and up to a great start. Anousheh has attended a number of book signing events. The next one will be held on April 9th, 2010 at Books Inc. in Mountain View, California. For more information visit their website at:


There will be more book signing in April, stay tuned!

My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer is the name of the book coming out March 2010. The book is written by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam. Homer H Hickam, Jr., author, Vietnam veteran, and a former NASA engineer is the author of a number of best-selling memoirs and novels including his autobiographical and widely-read novel Rocket Boys, later made into the movie: October Sky.

In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream. She tells the readers of the prejudices and obstacles she had to overcome as well as her determination and hope, and the love and support that made it possible. It's Anousheh' s hope that her personal story would encourage and inspire people around the globe, especially the younger generation, to strive to overcome any barriers holding them back from their dreams.

To learn more about the book:
Cosmic Skeleton Revealed!
With the help of two of the most powerful ground-based telescopes, the Very Large Telescope at Chile's Paranal Observatory and the National Astronomical Observatory's Subaru Telescope in Japan, for the very first time, the astronomers have been able to see parts of the "cosmic web" of galaxies.  

This new study conducted by ESO, European Space Observatory, was led by Masayuki Tanaka who stated:
"the most widely accepted cosmological theories predict that matter clumps on a larger scale in the so-called 'cosmic web', in which galaxies, embedded in filaments stretching between voids, create a gigantic wispy structure."  These filaments, millions of light years long, constitute the skeleton of the Universe.

The newly discovered filaments in this study are located about 6.7 billion light-years away from Earth, and extend over at least 60 million light-years.

This study is able to  move from demography to sociology, researching the relationship between the properties of galaxies and their environment at earlier stages of existence. Furthermore, with the possibility of this structure extending further, future observations have been planned.For more information and see pictures of the area discovered, please visit:

Reach to Space from Your Desk
Would you like to be in touch with astronauts, participate in space exploration, take a tour of the International Space station, navigate the milky way or even view galaxies far away? In today's world, you can do all that and much more without ever leaving your desk.  

To name a few of the websites offering a chance to lose oneself in space, we will start with Hubble Telescope's official site where visitors can view the many amazing and download-able photographs through the "galleries", or see where Hubble is, at any time.

Sky in Google Earth also offers the chance to navigate and see stars, planets and constellations, not to mention 3D models of the Moon and Mars. Micorsoft's World Wide Telescope project now part of Bing search allows one to view pre-loaded maps of constellations against street-view maps.

To visit ISS, Boeing and NASA both offer virtual tours. A look at the interactive page of marsdrive.com presents interesting channels on YouTube as well as links to visit and wander around the Milky Way, Constellation, Mars, and more.

Elsewhere Spacehack offers different ways to participate in space exploration, interact  and connect with the space community.

To stay updated check out Space Tweep Society, a group of space enthusiasts on Twitter. The group includes a variety of background, space program employees, astronauts, scientists, journalists, and space enthusiasts from the public.  

There are many more websites available for the discovery and exploration of space, but our short list won't be complete without a mention of Facebook. NASA by itself has more than 30 accounts and fan pages dedicated to different projects and sections of NASA. US Army Astronauts, the European Space Agency, ISS, X Prize Foundation , James Webb Space Telescope, and many more Space related pages keep space enthusiasts updated and informed.

To learn more please visit:





NASA 's Systems Engineering Student Competition
NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is inviting teams of undergraduate and graduate students throughout the country to participate in the fourth annual Systems Engineering Paper Competition.

The deadline to register is April 16. Papers are due April 23. For more information about the competition and how to apply, please visit:

What If Competition

After careful reviews and thorough discussions we are happy to announce this year's results of the competition:

  1. Grade Winners: 
    1. 6th grade: HCMS Cougar Team (Varun Rao) - Hill Country Middle School, Austin, TX. Adult Sponsor: Satish Rao.
    2. 7th grade: The Lone Hawk Team (Muhammad Hawkins) - Home School, Alexandria, VA. Adult Sponsor: Alitalia Kirskey.
    3. 8th grade: Ebeth's Team (Elizabeth Mittmann) - Jordan Middle School, Palo Alto, CA. Adult Sponsor: Susan Mittmann. 
  2. Grand Prize Winner: 
    1. The Lone Hawk Team (Muhammad Hawkins) - Home School, Alexandria, VA. Adult Sponsor: Alitalia Kirskey.
  3. Honorable Mentions: 
    1. 6th grade: Team KaylynAlisa (Kaylyn Hartley & Alisa Prewett) - Del Dios Middle School, Escondido, CA. Adult Sponsor: Pamela Candelore.
    2. 7th grade: The Golden Writers (Tony Du & Jack Englehart) - Heritage Middle School, WEsterville, OH. Adult Sponsor: Debiie Pellington.
    3. 8th grade
      1. Constellation Team (Sean Mangum) - Julia Landon College Preparatory, Jacksonville, FL. Adult Sponsor: Kevin Simmons.
      2. Team 5 (Emma Fluckiger & Melannie Wurm) - Clark Fork Jr. Sr. High School, Clark Fork, ID. Adult Sponsor: Adriane Ineck.

We 'd like to thank all the participants, their supervisors, the sponsors, the partners, the advisers, the judges, the manager and the moderator.
 http://www.whatifprize.org/  .

What If Competition Alum

We are please to report on another success for a What If Competition alumnus, Ryan Lastufka, who had won an honorable mention at 6th grade level in 2009. Last month, Ryan won second prize in 2010 Beal Bank Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Engineering, Electrical and Mechanical division. As a result, he will advance to the state-level competition in San Antonio in April. Atlanta will host the national competition in May. Congratulations and Good Luck Ryan!




Anousheh's Favorite Quote:

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

   Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)