The Stafford-Leonov Student Exchange Program, an initiative of the Baker Institute Space Policy Program, pays tribute to the commanders of the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission, Thomas Stafford and Alexei Leonov. Their mission was the first in which spacecraft from different nations docked in space — and included the first international handshake in space by Stafford and Leonov, who pioneered the spirit of international cooperation in space that resulted in the very successful International Space Station.

Students from Rice and other universities across the United States participate in the international student workshop Space Development: Theory and Practice (Space DTP) sponsored by the Youth Space Center at Bauman Moscow State Technical University and the Russian Space Program. 2021 marked the 26th anniversary of the Space DTP workshop and the 11th year of participation by the U.S. delegation.

Space DTP is a unique international student workshop that combines visits to Russian space facilities with tours of cultural and historical sites in and around the Moscow Oblast region. In addition, students break into teams to develop simulated interplanetary space missions. Students experience not only the difficulties encountered in working with international partners, but also the synergy and satisfaction derived from learning how to cooperate in space-related ventures.

The space-related facilities that students visit include: the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City, the Bauman Moscow State Technical University Orevo Laboratory, the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, the Cosmonautics Memorial Museum, Monino Air Force Museum, Zvezda and Energia. Cultural excursions include: the Tretyakov Art Gallery, the Izmailovo flea market, Red Square and the Kremlin, and Alexander's Garden.

    The purpose of the Stafford-Leonov Student Exchange Program is to develop international collaborations in which engineering and science students from different countries work together to design space science projects.

    The intent is to emulate the successes of the international cooperation and innovation that formed the basis of the International Space Station and replicate the process at the university level for the next generation of space engineers and scientists.

    Watch some of the Space DTP 2012 Program's most compelling moments:


    Applications are now being accepted for 2021. Successful candidates will be currently enrolled in a participating university and majoring in science or engineering with a strong desire to pursue a career in the space field.

    Applicants must currently be enrolled in one of the following participating universities:

    • Rice University
    • Brown University
    • Cornell University
    • Texas A&M University
    • University of Houston
    • University of Southern California
    • The University of Texas at El Paso
    • Southwestern Oklahoma State University

    Please submit the following to Jason Lyons (by email to by 11:59 pm on Friday, July 2, 2020:

    • Completed and signed application form
    • One-page resume/CV
    • A recent photograph
    • 300–500 word essay on why you should be chosen for the U.S. Delegation to Space DTP 2021

    A draft agenda for the program can be found here.



    Dimitri Gianousopoulos (University of Southern California)
    Kelly Graham (University of Houston)
    Alyssa Ishigo (University of Southern California)
    Ozioma Ozor-Ilo (Rice University)
    Tucker Wray (Brown University)


    Mckenna Cisler (Brown University)
    Lindsay Levine (University of Southern California)
    Priscilla Nizio (University of Houston)
    Henry Paradise (Rice University)
    Asutosh Swain (Brown University)
    Wendy Wang (University of Southern California)


    Dino Barrios (University of Houston)
    Ujwala Bhagavatula (Texas A&M University)
    Grant Casey (Brown University)
    Michael Greer (University of Houston)
    Roni Midyat (Brown University)
    Catherine Miranda (Brown University)
    Adrian Perez (Rice University)
    Anna Seto (Brown University)
    Billy Young (Texas A&M University)


    Anchal Bhaskar (University of Houston)
    Zoë Canaras (Brown University)
    Adelin Destain (Texas A&M University)
    Maddie Koldos (University of Southern California)
    Craig Medlin (Texas A&M University)
    Damien Ng (Rice University)
    Jincy Philip (University of Houston)
    Katherine Pisani (Brown University)
    Hunter Ray (Brown University)
    Elise Yang (Cornell University)


    Rosa Avalos (Rice University)
    Abby Brooks (Rice University)
    Jeremy Dowell (Rice University)
    Mark Durham (University of Houston)
    Chris Gay (University of Houston)
    Kairy Moon Herrera (Brown University)
    Jacob Hogge (University of Southern California)
    Amanda Humphrey (Rice University)
    Ryan Izant (Brown University)
    Eduardo Segura (University of Houston)
    Maria Yurlova (University of Houston)



    Sofia Avendaño (Rice University)
    Kelly Callens (Cornell University)
    Collin Hennegan (University of Southern California)
    Blake Ives (University of Southern California)
    Kath Kryuchkova (Brown University)
    Danielle Mitrak (University of Southern California)
    Tomoya Anthony Mori (Brown University)
    Katie Van Leeuwen (Rice University)
    Cristal Tan (Rice University)
    Duncan Young (Rice University)


    Scott Buchanan (University of Southern California)
    Sarah Cusson (University of Southern California)
    Jennifer Ding (Rice University)
    Sruthi Mathews (University of Houston)
    Casey Meehan (Brown University)
    Julia Phelps (University of Southern California)
    Kelly Sanders (Rice University)
    Nick Robbins (Rice University)
    Sophia Tsang (Brown University)
    Brian Weiniger (University of Southern California)


    Ian Brownstein (Brown University)
    Hayden Buckley (University of Southern California)
    Brady Caspar (Brown University)
    Nathaniel Gilbert (Brown University)
    Joseph Huseman (Rice University)
    Julia Levy (University of Southern California)
    Meaghan Ryan (Rice University)
    Carolina White (Rice University)
    Dante Zakhidov (Rice University)


    Alan Alvillar (The University of Texas at El Paso)
    Alexander Grosvenor (Brown University)
    Hunter Haygood (University of Southern California)
    Nicholas Helmer (University of Southern California)
    Tremayne Kaseman (Rice University)
    David Ladewig (University of Houston)
    Luis Sanshez (The University of Texas at El Paso)
    Joshua Soucie (Rice University)
    Jaime Barron Ruiz (The University of Texas at El Paso)