Navajo Nation looks at partnership, future youth opportunities with Masten Space Systems
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer recently met with a Masten Space Systems representative Oct. 12, to exchange ideas for a possible partnership with the Navajo Nation that would include opportunities for Navajo college students wanting to intern and pursue engineering careers.
“Masten’s main focus is ‘enabling space transportation and reliable planetary landers for the Earth, Moon, Mars, and beyond’, as our 21st Century of Navajo innovators and engineers would be excited to bring Masten’s dreams into reality,” Lizer said. “Whether they’ll enjoy solving technical challenges or being creative and innovative, aerospace provides opportunities in a range of industries, from automotive to finance and IT. Our Navajo youth can bring much pride in our Diné Nation, just as NASA engineer Aaron Yazzie has done.”
According to the president’s office, Masten won a NASA task order as part of its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program in April 2020 for its mission, valued at $75.9 million.
Additionally, NASA has selected California-based Masten Space Systems to deliver eight science payloads to the moon’s South Pole in 2022 on its XL-1 lunar lander. They are expected to deliver a set of NASA science and technology payloads, with room on the lander for additional commercial payloads. Masten contracted with SpaceX to launch the lander, a design the company calls XL-1.
Lizer said he looks forward to further collaboration to provide more opportunities for Navajo students in the STEM fields and beyond.