Palmetto Scholars Academy students experiment heads to space

  • Saturday, December 14, 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 whick left 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 SSEP is undertaken by the NCESSE (http://ncesse.org), a project of the 501(c)(3) Tides Center, in partnership with Nanoracks, LLC (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.

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