“It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.

To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Carl Sagan


The South Texas Astronomical Society (STARS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing space science education, advocacy, and community outreach.

Our Mission

To ignite curiosity through exploration of the Universe.

STARS provides a platform for managing the resources and connections needed to promote space science in the Rio Grande Valley through education, advocacy, and community outreach. 

Our Vision

STARS fosters connections to the community, science, and the Universe across all ages, cultures, and disciplines.

The Rio Grande Valley finds itself at the geographical frontier of humanity’s next great endevour: The exploration of space. This journey will bring with it opportunities and resources that will change our community forever.

STARS fully embraces this destiny as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the quality of life for those living and working in South Texas.

Core Values

Curiosity: We spark interest in Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art and Math (STREAM). 

Exploration: We search to discover. 

Accessibility: We include people of all ages, cultures, and abilities. 

Partnerships: We create more together than we can alone. 

Community: We love the family of the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.  


Education: To provide opportunities for unique educational experiences, shared interests, and hands-on learning. 

Science: To create a platform for science communication, a forum for discussion, and highlight the connection between astronomy and all academic disciplines. 

Children: To generate excitement, inspire the next generation of explorers, and have fun.

Careers: To craft a pipeline for STEM career opportunities, connect local youth to field experts, and foster lifelong passions. 

Community: To collaborate with local institutions, expand access to resources, and create a sense of belonging

Our Board of Directors

The STARS board features people from all walks of life – seasoned educators, UX designers, project managers, and nonprofit facilitators. We are united in serving our community by organizing and hosting space science programs and events with partners and fellow science enthusiasts.

Victor de los Santos
Executive Director
marija jette
Debbie Cox
STARS Secretary

Richard Camuccio
TTU PhD Candidate & Astrophysicist in Residence
Brina Martinez
PhD Candidate Texas A&M University
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Nurith Galonsky
Brownsville City Commissioner District 1
Kathryn Youker
Public Interest Attorney at Law Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Moises Gomez, CPA
Certified Public Accountant Gomez, Fragoso & Associates, P.C.

Advisory Board

Carol Lutsinger
NASA Solar System Ambassador
STARS Founder
Timothy Barry
International Planetarium Society
Dr. Mario Diaz
Professor, Director of

Our Partners