Emily Calandrelli, a 27-year-old astronautics expert, has been named host of “Xploration Outer Space,” a new syndicated series set to air on FOX-owned stations beginning in September. Its goal is to show off the coolest aspects of space and science to high school aged teens.
As the show’s host, Emily will take viewers on a fascinating journey to the outer reaches of the universe. Segment themes include why we explore Mars, robots in space, training to be an astronaut, extraterrestrial life on other planets and the future of private space travel.
Of her hosting gig, the MIT graduate and visiting scholar in Harvard’s NASA Tournament Lab says, “I get to interact with some of the smartest, most interesting people I have ever met.” Emily added, “There is a lot that I already know, but I’m also learning many new things as well.” (PS – Emily has two master’s degrees, one in Aeronautics and Astronautics and the other in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)
When the cameras are not rolling, this rock star rocket scientist will also be working behind the scenes of “Xploration Outer Space,” serving as one of the show’s technical content curators (a.k.a. a producer). “This means I help decide what to include in each episode and how to present this content. I’m essentially picking things that I have found personally interesting in the past eight years that I have been studying in this field.”
With each project the show explores, Emily will focus specifically on the science and technology behind it. Some location highlights include NASA’s Vomit comet, the Mars Desert Research station and Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy lab. The team will shoot one show in conjunction with West Virginia University’s High Altitude Student Payload Team, which will launch an experiment to the edge of space using a large balloon, similar to a weather balloon.
Getting students, especially young women and girls, interested in STEM has been a lifelong passion for Emily.
“When we’re young, it’s not cool to like math and science. It’s considered nerdy. Because of this, our pool of potential innovators, researchers, scientists and engineers is severely limited. If girls think that STEM isn’t for them, we are losing an opportunity. I want to show a more relatable side to STEM and help get young students to try it out because it might just be for them,” she said.
Emily’s “Xploration Outer Space” series is part of a two-hour block of 30-minute programs featuring science and technology in conjunction with the popular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) movement in American education. The block of shows is titled “Xploration Station” and it also includes “Xploration Earth 2050,” “Xploration Awesome Planet” and “Xploration Animal Science.” In addition to FOX, the block has also been picked up by other station groups and is cleared in 80 per cent of the U.S.
More About Emily
A native of Morgantown, West Virginia, Emily Calandrelli is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. She was a Truman Scholar, Goldwater Scholar, and named to the USA Today Academic All-USA First Team.
Emily earned two master’s degrees, one in Aeronautics and Astronautics and the other in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded the 2011 MIT Rene H. Miller Award for Systems Engineering, bestowed upon a student who has done the best piece of work in systems engineering in the AeroAstro Department.
She is a visiting scholar in Harvard’s NASA Tournament Lab, which leverages crowd-sourced contests to create innovative, efficient and optimized solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by NASA researchers.