STEM Outreach

Highlights From My AMA


Astronauts wear many hats. They are scientists, explorers, and public advocates for the advancement of science and technology. In my entry video for the  student astronaut contest I mentioned that I have the ability to speak to anyone on any stage, so  I decided to put my money where my mouth is and host an AMA on a few Reddit sub-forums ( here and here ) . For those of you who don’t know AMA ‘s (ask me anything) are open forums where Reddit users can ask a person  (or a group of people) anything they want.  I got some really good questions from other Redditors , but here are my favorites:

What inspires my dream of becoming the first African American to walk on Mars and what advice would I give to younger students:


Robotic exploration vs human exploration:


Should we go back to the moon first:


A question from a fellow Aaron:


And finally because I bleed orange:


Don’t forget to keep liking and sharing my entry video for the student astronaut contest!

STEM Outreach

Help me win the 2017 Student Astronaut Contest!

Hey everyone! My name is Aaron Shepard. I’m an electrical engineering student at Clemson University focusing on robotics and I have a special dream. Since 1969 only 12 men have walked on a world beyond Earth, none of those men were Black. It’s my dream to become the first astronaut of color to set foot on another world!

Buzz Aldrin’s boot print on the lunar surface NASA 1969

I’m entering the 2017 student astronaut contest sponsored by Xploration Station. If selected I will get a chance to visit the HI-SEAS Mars analog habitat in Hawaii and simulate life on the red planet. All of this would be featured on an episode of Xploration Outerspace.

the HI-SEAS Mars simulation habitat

Winning this contest would not only give me this unique experience, but also the PR and exposure that I need to successfully establish a public platform for getting more students from underrepresented backgrounds interested in space exploration,  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Hosting a robotics workshop for a group of female middle school students

Here’s how you can help me. Part of the contest is based on how many likes and shares my entry video gets. Click on the link below, comment on the video if you would like, but please like it and share it. I want to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers as I work to make my dreams come true!

my entry video