The LCATS program environment engages a pipeline of motivated middle and high school students to assist aerospace professionals solve real-world space exploration technology development challenges through investigations of science experiments, space exploration mission operations, technology development, and habitability system architectures for Space-STEM learning performance.
LCATS students are selected from the San Antonio Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP), of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Students not enrolled in PREP from San Antonio area-wide school districts are also eligible through a competitive selection process.
The LCATS Experience
- Field trips to caves to learn geology and biology of caves; how to take science measurements, and explore
- Instruction by volunteer aerospace engineers and scientists
- Mission concept design
- Construct scaled robots and terrain models
- Learn space architecture methods and why planetary caves are important for habitation
- Team building and entrepreneurship
- Learn about space cave environments, geology of planetary caves, exploration issues, challenges of pit access for robots and astronauts, and why technologies and science measurements are needed
- Participate in deployment of field robotics to caves for actual science measurements and simulated mission ops
The LCATS Mission
By anchoring the LCATS program to actual technology engineering and science investigation challenges throughout the various LEAP2 growth phases, student learning experiences align with NASA mission priorities for its Artemis Return to Moon, on to Mars exploration program.
LCATS in Action
Click below to learn more about the LCATS experience
Learn more about LEAP2 Space Technology Development and the mission reference framework that guides LCATS programming.
Interested in applying for LCATS? Learn more here!
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LCATS is made possible by a dedicated group of organizations and individuals including:
Professional Scientists and Engineers
Subject Matter Experts
Undergrad and Graduate Student Mentors
By helping to fund our programs for motivated Middle and High School students with an interest in exploring space, you advance 21st century careers for underrepresented minorities, female, and economically disadvantaged students.