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The Solar System Ambassadors Program
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"Volunteers Bringing the Solar System to the Public"

patrick wiggins

On August 14 at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, Solar System Ambassador Patrick Wiggins was presented the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal for his outstanding efforts as a Solar System Ambassador volunteer. The citation reads...

For superior individual dedication to community and scientific engagement as NASA's prolific Solar System Ambassador.

Mr. Wiggins joined the NASA Solar Systems Ambassadors (SSA) Program in January 2002 just before retiring from the Hansen Planetarium following 26 years of service. Over the last 12 years, he has conducted over 1,050 events, averaging 88 events per year, well over the 4 events per year that are asked of volunteers. With a background in astronomy and a solid reputation for public engagement, Mr. Wiggins tirelessly travels across the state of Utah performing outreach, giving educational talks to students, and regularly providing updates on NASA's space exploratory efforts to local media. His superior dedication and volunteer efforts have built a positive reputation for not only the SSA Program but also NASA.

The Solar System Ambassadors program staff and volunteers congratulate Patrick on his accomplishments and celebrate his commitment to sharing the NASA story with the people of Utah.



The Solar System Ambassadors Program is a public outreach program designed to work with motivated volunteers across the nation. These volunteers communicate the excitement of JPL's space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries to people in their local communities.

There are 516 Ambassadors in 50 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico bringing the excitement of space to the public. Ambassadors are space enthusiasts from various walks of life who are interested in providing greater service and inspiration to the community at large.

The Solar System Ambassadors Program builds on and expands the outstanding efforts undertaken by the Galileo mission since 1997. Because of the success of the original Galileo Ambassadors program, JPL missions exploring Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Asteroids, Comets, Earth, the Sun and the Universe now come together to expand the program's scope to the Solar System and beyond.

To arrange for a Solar System Ambassador event in your community, click on the Meet the Ambassador link on the top navigation bar, select your state or territory and review the entries. Ambassadors furnish short biographical statements for the purpose of detailing their areas of interest and expertise. Following the biography is a list of past events conducted by the Ambassador to further aid in decision making. Inquiries about an Ambassador's availability should be made by sending an email directly to the individual.

Check the "Calendar of Events" section as well to see if an Ambassador event will be occurring in your local community. For a listing of Solar System Ambassadors by name, visit the Directory of Ambassadors.

Applications to become a Solar System Ambassador are accepted once a year during the month of September. Successful candidates begin their one-year, renewable term of service the following January 1. The Announcement of Opportunity and application form will be posted on this site on September 1.

The Solar System Ambassadors Program is sponsored by the JET PROPULSION LABORATORY in Pasadena, CA, an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a lead research and development center for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


The NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors program (SSA) application deadline has been extended to October 15, 2014. Successful candidates will be given the opportunity to represent NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as volunteer Solar System Ambassadors to the public for a one-year, renewable term beginning January 1, 2015.

Announcement of Opportunity

Please read the Announcement of Opportunity before completing the application.

Solar System Ambassadors Application

If you have questions about the Solar System Ambassadors program or this opportunity, contact the Coordinator.

This page was last updated September 23, 2014
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