Space

October 5, 2012

SpaceX Dragon to carry 23 student experiments to space station

Twenty-three microgravity experiments designed by participants of NASA’s Student Spaceflight Experiment Program will become part of space history Oct. 7.

They will be launched to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Dragon, the first commercially developed and built American spacecraft to fly a resupply cargo resupply mission to the station.

Twelve of the SSEP experiments are getting a second flight opportunity. They were delivered to the space station on a SpaceX demonstration mission in May, but were not completed. The other 11 experiments are new.

Each experiment will study the effects of microgravity on physical, chemical and biological systems. The students have been immersed in every facet of research, from defining investigations to designing experiments, writing proposals, and submitting to a formal NASA review for selection of flight experiments. The 23 experiments represent more than 7,000 students and almost 2,000 proposals.

“SSEP offers a unique flight opportunity that allows students to experience both the excitement and the challenges inherent in conducting research in a microgravity environment,” said Roosevelt Johnson, deputy associate administrator for education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It really is STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] in action, using the International Space Station – which has America’s only orbiting National Laboratory – to host these students’ science experiments.”

SSEP began in June 2010 as a cooperative venture by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and NanoRacks LLC, a national STEM education initiative. The organizations work together to give hundreds of students across a community the opportunity to design and propose real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit. Teams submit formal flight experiment proposals, and a formal proposal review process selects the flight experiment for the community. A suite of programs leverages the flight experiment design competition to engage the entire community, including a mission patch art and design competition.

SSEP payloads were flown in 2011 aboard space shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis on their respective STS-134 and STS-135 missions. The third round of experiments in May was the first to be conducted in orbit by space station astronauts. Next week’s Dragon launch is the fourth flight opportunity. A fifth suite of experiments is scheduled for spring 2013.

More than 100 SSEP students, teachers, and family members will travel to Florida to attend the SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

SSEP is one of many programs that use NASA’s science and exploration missions to encourage students to pursue a STEM-centric school curriculum. NASA’s Office of Education is committed to inspiring and developing the next generation of scientists and engineers through experiential, hands-on learning.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

SpaceX completes first milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft...
 
 
XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee

XCOR announces further progress on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft

XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee The XCOR Lynx suborbital rocketplane under construction as of December 2014. Fuselage, cockpit and Carry-through-spar are bonded, propulsion system test-mounted, sans propellant pumps.   MOJAVE, ...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle

NASA’s Kepler reborn, makes first exoplanet find of new mission

Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle The artistic concept shows NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. Using publicly available data, astronomers have confirmed K2&...
 

 
NASA illustration

NASA, planetary scientists find meteoritic evidence of Mars water reservoir

This illustration depicts Martian water reservoirs. Recent research provides evidence for the existence of a third reservoir that is intermediate in isotopic composition between the Red Planetís mantle and its current atmosphe...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-3 satellite encapsulated in launch vehicle fairing

Lockheed Martin photograph The U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-3 satellite (above) is encapsulated in its payload fairings for a scheduled Jan. 20, 2015 launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. MUOS ope...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA’s Orion arrives back at Kennedy

NASA photograph NASA’s Orion spacecraft returned to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Dec. 18, 2014. The spacecraft flew to an altitude of 3,600 miles in space during a Dec. 5 flight test designed to stre...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>