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Beyond Borders

30 Jul 2012, 20:12 UTC
Beyond Borders
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Exploring the connections between space exploration and the needs of developing communities

Demonstrating the unique skillsets acquired by rocket scientists and engineers supporting human space exploration, members of Engineers Without Borders- Johnson Space Center (EWB-JSC) actively translate their expertise to real world problems in remote areas. This association of Johnson Space Center (JSC) employees, contractors, and other professionals in the Houston/Clear Lake area volunteer their time to participate in the projects and efforts of Engineers Without Borders-USA, a non-profit organization established in 2000 to help developing areas worldwide with their engineering needs, while involving and training a new kind of internationally responsible engineer. EWB-USA projects involve the design and construction of sustainable water, waste-water, sanitation, energy, and shelter systems. These projects, initiated by the host community, are jointly designed between the EWB-USA chapters with input from the community. Participation in EWB-JSC is purely volunteer based on members’ own time, and is not directly endorsed or supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Recently I had the honor of interviewing Tyler Blair-Sheppard, a co-lead for a priority EWB-JSC project, the design and implementation of a fruit drying system for an orphanage in Rwanda seeking economic stability.
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