When Amy McCormick’s class developed their science experiment studying Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), they could only dream of flying it to space. Their experiment won the Teachers In Space annual spaceflight contest and later this month, their dream will become a reality when it launches to the International Space Station (ISS). Tucked into a storage rack aboard the Cygnus (along with 22 other experiments flying as part of Mission 4 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program), these experiments will blast off to the ISS on top of an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (M.A.R.S.). This will be the first commercial flight to the ISS provided by Orbital Sciences. SpaceX is the only other commercial company providing ISS resupply.
“This is an exciting moment for these students,” said James Pura, President of the Space Frontier Foundation. “They are learning how to conduct cutting edge science in a space laboratory. Short of going to space yourself, there is no better way to experience the wonder of spaceflight.”
On Wednesday,December 18th, representatives from Teachers in Space, a project of the Space Frontier Foundation and coordinator of the contest, will be at Wallops Island, VA to witness the launch into space. Liftoff is scheduled for 9:42 pm Eastern Time. Many on the Eastern seaboard of the United States should be able to witness this spectacular launch as well.
The experiments are scheduled to return to Earth on a later flight. From there the students will gather their data and present the results of their experiments.
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (http://ssep.ncesse.org) is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE; http://ncesse.org) in partnership with Nanoracks, LLC.
This on-orbit educational research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks, LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.
About Teachers in Space
A project of the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF), Teachers in Space stimulates student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by giving teachers authentic astronaut training and real space science experiences combined with information and resources they can take back with them to their classrooms.
Teachers in Space improves science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in America through summer workshops that give teachers authentic astronaut training and real space science experiences combined with information and resources they can take back to their classrooms. The goal is to inspire large numbers of young people to study STEM while spreading understanding of the opportunities offered by the emergent private space industry. Visit http://TIS.spacefrontier.org.
Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director, NCESSE
James Pura, Space Frontier Foundation
Joe Latrell, Teachers In Space