Application for American Participants

Space-Oriented Learning for Americans and Russians > Application for American Participants

A complete application, submitted entirely online, includes the following materials:

Application form

The application for the SOLAR Program is now closed. We have received more than 300 applications. We are very excited to start reviewing your applications. Thank you all for applying with so much thoughtfulness and effort and good luck with the next steps of the selection process!

We will contact semi-finalists at the end of March.

Video essay

Applicants are requested to create and submit a video essay responding to the topic “I am interested in space exploration and history and would like to go to Russia to participate in the SOLAR exchange program because…”  Please include in your video essay points about the importance of U.S.-Russian science and/or space cooperation and the impacts of this cooperation.

Your video essay should present yourself, your interest in the SOLAR project, space and Russia.  


Videos must be no more than 3 minutes long. 

A video essay has no fixed format. However, many have similarities with written essays. In your video, you could present your thoughts as a narrative, and put forward a compelling argument. Think about how you could use some of the convention of film, like structure, pacing and images to help you make your point.  

Feel free to use whichever genre of film you would like. Your film could be a documentary, or fiction, or live action, or animation.

Applicants must upload their video essay to an online video hosting service, such as YouTube or Vimeo, and include a link to their video in their online application.

Criteria for evaluating the submissions

Keep in mind the following criteria when you create your product.

  • Does the video contain a clear argument (focused and structured)?
  • Does the video communicate the applicant’s interest in the program?
  • Is the video original?
  • Is the video creative?  

A link to the video essay should be inserted into the online application form.

Letters of recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required from individuals who are familiar with the applicant and the applicant’s work in an academic, extracurricular activities or community service setting.

Recommendations should explain a relationship to the applicant, provide an overview of the applicant’s strengths and elaborate why he/she would be a good fit for the SOLAR Program. Recommendations should directly address the applicant’s suitability for the SOLAR Program.

There is no standard template for the recommendation letter and can be written in a free form.

Recommendations should not be written by family members or friends.

Recommendations should be atttached to the completed online application form.

Only successful candidates will be contacted.