Palmetto Scholars students headed to space

  • Sunday, November 24, 2013

An experiment created by Palmetto Scholars Academy (PSA) students is headed for outer space through the national science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program called the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) aboard the Orb-1 Cygnus Rocket for Mission 4 to the International Space Station on Dec. 8.

“SSEP is designed to empower the student as scientist, and within the real-world context of science. Student teams design a real experiment, propose for a real flight opportunity, experience a formal proposal review process, and go through a NASA flight safety review. They even have their own science conference at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where they are immersed in their own community of researchers”, said Dr. Jeff Goldstein, creator of SSEP and National Center for Earth Science Space Education (NCESSE) Center Director. “With Palmetto Scholars Academy participating in Mission 4, for the first time hundreds of South Carolinian students will become real microgravity researchers as part of SSEP.”

“This is the first time that a South Carolina school has participated in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program,” states Kellye Voigt, PSA Science teacher and SSEP Community Program Director. “The combined efforts of the board, administration, and faculty have made it possible to provide this STEM-based research experience to our students.” The public is invited to the Felix C. Davis Community Center at 4800 Park Circle, North Charleston, on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. for a “Pre-Launch Celebration” as the students prepare their experiment for launch to the International Space Station.

The SSEP is undertaken by the NCESSE (http://ncesse.org), a project of the 501(c)(3) Tides Center, in partnership with Nanoracks (http://www.nanoracksllc.com).

This on-orbit educational research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks, 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.

Palmetto Scholars Academy (PSA) is a South Carolina Public Charter School for gifted and talented students in the sixth through 11th grades and is open to students from any county or school district and is tuition free. The school will add 12th grade next year as it prepares for its first graduating class.

To learn more, visit: www.palmettoscholarsacademy.org.

About NanoRacks

NanoRacks was formed in 2009 to provide quality hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. NanoRacks now has two research platforms onboard the U.S. National Laboratory that can house plug and play payloads using the Cube-Sat form factor. Our current signed customer pipeline of over 50 payloads, including domestic and international educational institutions, research organizations and government organizations, has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low-earth orbit utilization. To learn more, visit: http://www.nanoracks.com.

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