Nanoracks LLC  and the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education have announced a student experiment flight opportunity for April 2013.

This opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program, which enables educational groups to fly small experiments on the Nanoracks Mini-Laboratory payload carrier. SSEP is primarily geared toward primary and secondary schools (grades 5-12), but it is also open to community colleges, universities, and informational education centers.

The baseline cost for a participating institution is $19,950. For that price, the institution receives access to one Mini-Lab Fluids Mixing Enclosure, a cylindrical tube 6.75 inches long with an outside diameter of 0.5 inches. This tube can be divided into one, two, or three sections containing solids or fluids to be mixed together on orbit.

The program also includes a flight experiment design competition, run by the participating institution in cooperation with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, which exposes students to how real science is done.


The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education will help participating institutions find sponsors to cover the cost of the experiment, and has been successful in most cases, but sponsorship is not guaranteed. A funding commitment for the flight is required by September 12, 2012.

SSEP payloads have already flown on the Space Shuttle (STS-134 and STS-135, the final flights of the Endeavour and Atlantis) and on the International Space Station. An SSEP payload containing 12 student experiments was part of of the cargo delivered to the International Space Station by the SpaceX Dragon capsule in May. Another SSEP payload with 12 students is scheduled to be delivered to the ISS on the next Dragon flight in September.

For additional information, click. here.

Written by Astro1 on June 17th, 2012 , Citizen Science (General), Commercial Space (General), Education

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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