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Space Science Outreach at the Rice Space Institute

Reaching the public with information about space has been a priority since the 1958 Space Act which states that NASA "provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof".

In September 12, 1962 John F. Kennedy came to Rice University and gave his iconic speech:

"...But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

By September 1963, Rice University started the country's first Space Science Department. Information about its history and the alumni of that program (which still runs today as part of the Physics and Astronomy department) can be found at space.rice.edu/alumni.


Research in Physics, Space Physics, and Astrophysics/Astronomy is now part of the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Interdepartmental research, ties to Johnson Space Center and to commercial space activities is coordinated at Rice through the Rice Space Institute.

This website hosts several of the Space education and public outreach sites associated with Rice University, including the Master of Science Teaching program, various Outreach pages including for the MMS mission; the Space Science Alumni pages, Space Weather Forecasting pages, Eclipse observing pages and links to the "Public Connection" outreach page, which has now been "spun off" to our commercial outreach companies Space Update, Inc. and MTPE Inc (doing business as ePlanetarium).