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.


 
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA begins engine test project for space launch system rocket

NASA photograph RS-25 rocket engine No. 0525 is positioned onto the A-1 Test Stand at NASAís Stennis Space Center in Mississippi preparation for a series of developmental tests. Engineers have taken a crucial step in preparing...
 
 

SSL selected to study asteroid retrieval for NASA

Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced July 18 that it was one of the companies selected by NASA to study system concepts and key technologies for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which is expected to be a key part of the agency’s path to sending humans to Mars. SSL will conduct two studies;...
 
 
NASA image

NASA turns over next-gen air traffic management tool to FAA

NASA image As seen in this image, Terminal Sequencing and Spacing technology enables air traffic controllers to better manage the spacing between aircraft as they save both time and fuel and reducing emissions, flying more effi...
 

 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech, and SETI Institute

NASA seeks proposals for Europa mission science instruments

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech, and SETI Institute Compiled from NASAís Galileo spacecraft data, this colorized surface image of Europa shows the blue-white terrains which indicate relatively pure water ice. Scientists are...
 
 

NASA announces early career faculty space tech research grants

NASA has selected seven university-led proposals for the study of innovative, early stage technologies that address high priority needs for America’s space program. The selected proposals for unique, disruptive, or transformational space technologies will address challenges in robotic mobility when traversing extreme terrain, in developing lightweight and multifunctional materials and str...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA Armstrong recalls first moon landing, preps for ‘next giant leap’

NASA photograph In this 1967 NASA Flight Research Center photograph the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) No. 2 is viewed from the front. This photograph provides a good view of the pilot’s platform with the restricti...
 




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>