This Year, Rocket Lab Announces Two Space Scholarship Winners Instead of One15th Dec 2021
On 1st December, a leading New Zealand-based launch operator has awarded its Space Scholarship to two recipients. Traditionally, Rocket Lab’s Space Scholarship is awarded to only one applicant, but this year became an exception. The recipients are Hinewairere Sollitt-Mackey and Pikitangarangi Ratapu from Ruatoria and Mahia, respectively.
Rocket Lab’s Space Scholarship is aimed to encourage young people from the Mahia region in New Zealand to pursue careers in science and technology. The award implies covering $20,000 of tuition fees for the lucky winners.
According to Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck, encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM helps innovation in the ever-evolving space industry and supports the local community. Mr. Beck believes that building ties in the area the company is launching from is essential, and allowing the young to pursue their dream careers will help shape the future of New Zealand.
Rocket Lab’s Space Scholarship was initiated in 2017, so this year also marks an important milestone for the company and the local community – the first graduate.
Hinewairere Sollitt-Mackey tried to pursue a career in engineering at the University of Canterbury but lacked the necessary support, which made her take a job at the construction site to acquire the necessary skills. Rocket Lab’s Space Scholarship will give Ms. Sollitt-Mackey, aged 22, a chance to pursue her dream career at the University of Auckland.
Another recipient is a younger, 17-year-old Pikitangarangi Ratapu who hopes to study chemistry and biology. Mr. Ratapu emphasises the importance of satellite technology, particularly Earth Observation, to combat the ever-increasing impact of climate change.
Both Rocket Lab’s Space Scholarship recipients have strong ties to the New Zealand community – a site most company launches take place from.