WELLINGTON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said on Friday.
Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to take part in NASA's International Internship Program. If accepted, the cost of their participation is paid by the government.
These scholarships give New Zealand students the opportunity to learn space technology and bring the skills and experience they gain back to New Zealand, Twyford said in a statement.
"Seven students this year have already received the New Zealand Space Agency scholarship and travelled to NASA's Ames Research Centre in California to work with NASA's expert mentors on cutting-edge research," he said, adding they will be involved in the development of world-leading technology such as robotics and sensors for planetary exploration.
New Zealand's space sector is contributing around 1.7 billion NZ dollars (1.09 billion U.S. dollars) annually to the economy, and the government is working to make New Zealand a hub for new space activities powered by a highly-skilled workforce, the minister said.