Niko Blanks

While battling pediatric brain cancer at the age of 7, Niko looked to the Moon and stars for hope and inspiration. Now 17 years later, he is on a mission to make spaceflight accessible to all.

Niko graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in May of 2022. He is currently a test engineer at Blue Origin, testing components and propulsion systems for both current and future space vehicles. He is an Analog Astronaut, having conducted human factors research on the Sensoria M3 Lunar Mission at HI-SEAS. Niko was part of the first ever Spacekind class and has since volunteered as a TA for multiple Spacekind sessions. 

In 2020, with the help of the Spacekind Foundation and the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, Niko started the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship. His goal was to send one child battling pediatric cancer to Space Camp at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. To date, Cosmic Odyssey has sent 17 families to SpaceCamp, comprising of over 60 people! With support from organizations like Club for the Future, and from passionate space nerds like YOU, Cosmic Odyssey continues to grow and change the lives of families impacted by pediatric cancer. 

Niko is a space nerd at heart, and dreams of building a future where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to explore the stars.