Tag Archives: ISSET

First Mission Discovery Experiments to Launch to Space!!!

How many high school students (ages 14-18) do you know that have had an experiment flown and carried out in space? Not many, if any, I bet! Can you imagine how exciting that would be? I know I certainly would have loved to have been able to say my experiment and flown into space when I was that age!

Well that is exactly what some students from King’s College Mission Discovery 2012 are going to be able to say. The 2 winning team’s experiments from the 2012 King’s College Mission Discovery are manifested to launch via Orbital’s Orb-1 Mission on Thursday bound for the International Space Station! WOW!

General Use Mission Patch

One of the experiments will test the effectiveness of antibiotics on E. Coli in space, something that has never been examined in depth before. The findings could have significant implications for the health of astronauts in space and the development of antibiotics here on earth.

The second experiment will examine whether slime mold grows three-dimensionally in space due to the lack of gravity. We know that here on earth slime mold has spatial memory, and can even solve mazes by avoiding its own trails.

See photos here on ISSET’s Facebook page of the students building their experiments.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.763778016984872.1073741838.190935420935804&type=1&l=d48002a730

Launch is currently scheduled for Thursday at 9:19pm (Eastern Time) out of Wallop’s Launch Facility. As anyone associated with any sort of spaceflight knows this can of course change so be sure to check for status at the Orbital Page for updates

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/Orb-1/MissionUpdate/index.shtml

I am excited to say that I will be there to view the launch and many of the surrounding activities so I promise photos and updates as often as I can! Follow along (if you’re not already) on Twitter as well – my handle is @spacechelle.

And if you’re interested in the opportunity to compete to have your experiment flown into space – check out the various ISSET Mission Discovery Events that are being offered all over the world in 2014! http://isset.org/mission_discovery/  Worth noting – most Mission Discovery events are open to High School AND University students. Are you a University that would be interested in hosting a Mission Discovery? Let me know! I would love to talk to you about it!

Space Inspires! I feel so incredibly fortunate to be part of this!

Stay tuned!

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Space Center Experience In Florida

While the students had an absolutely amazing time in both the DC area as well as Houston they were especially excited to see Kennedy Space Center in Florida where all of the manned US launches have occurred from.

We settled in on the first day and enjoyed just a little bit of downtime at the beach. When in the Cocoa Beach area you really must check out the beach there – it’s beautiful. We knew the next several days would be full of exciting things to see so we took advantage of some time to catch up on a bit of relaxation.

Before heading to KSC the students first went to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge to learn more about the environment and the animals that live there. Ned was the docent who spent some quality time with the students and it is clear that he is passionate about the refuge because he was fantastic at imparting knowledge.

Then it was off to the Kennedy Space Center for the next 2.5 days…. so much to tell you about there but I will just give you the highlights… Cape Then & Now Tour, VAB Tour, Fantastic Space IMAX movies and more!

The timing just happened to work out for a rare treat for the students who were participating… they got to partake in the Atlantis Opening Celebration with myself, Ken and about 50 astronauts! Truly the chance of a lifetime!

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Last event in Florida was a stop at Sea World where I was happy to see a great message of Conservation. Many astronauts frequently say that we would all be kinder to the planet if we could all see it in the way that they have from space.

Obviously this is just a very high level overview of the trip… I could probably write dozens of “pages” about the trip but I think if a picture is worth a thousand words then an experience is worth a thousand pictures so I think you should all consider joining us on one of our experiences!

 

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Space Center Experience in Houston continued…

The trip has drawn to a close but since I didn’t get a chance to blog while it was going on I figured I’d catch up now that I am back home… sorry for the delay! This one will have lots of pictures because as they say a picture is worth a thousand words!

The students got a chance to visit many astronauts in Houston and even attend a Medical Briefing with a variety of NASA folks – the briefing was about Acute Mountain Sickness and discussed how some of the things parallel space sickness. It was fascinating for all of us. 

We visited a retired airplane that NASA has used to create weightlessness 30 seconds at a time – The Weightless Wonder also “affectionately” known as The Vomit Comet.

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We got a tour of the Nanotechnology labs at Rice University…. 

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More dinners, lunches and coffees with some astronauts and other incredible NASA people… (Pictured below is Astronaut Dr. Stan Love)….

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Dinner at The House of Blues….

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And of course an in-depth tour of Johnson Space Center! 

Alas when it was time to leave Houston we had to say good-bye to Kim who had to go back to the UK. We were sad that she couldn’t join us for the last part of our adventure…. But we all know we will see our friend again somewhere in the world!

Next stop Florida!

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Houston – We Have No Problems Here!

We began the Houston portion of the Space Center Experience just 2 days ago and I think it’s fair to say that we will not be uttering the famous line in regards to our trip! While it is very hot here (especially compared to the UK) the heat is not putting a damper on our adventure. 

We’ve had dinners and outings with a wide variety of astronauts, NASA scientists, flight controllers and astronaut instructors. I did ask the students if they’ve had too much space talk and the response was very quick…. the answer was “No Way! We are loving every minute of it!” Okay so perhaps I am paraphrasing a bit but that’s the gist of it!

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We went to see the San Jacinto Monument and they learned a bit of Texas History. 

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Today we started the day with a personal tour of part of Space Center Houston including the Lunar Vaults. Our tour guide Jeri was an engineer during Apollo who worked a lot with the Lunar Module. In addition to telling us all about the amazing space artifacts we were looking at he also told us some absolutely priceless stories about his time at NASA. We feel so incredibly honored to have gotten a tour from such an accomplished contributor to space history. During the tour we saw moon rocks (and even got to touch one!), the Mercury Capsule Faith 7, the podium from which JFK made his famous speech about the challenge to go to the moon, the Apollo 17 Command Module and more priceless space things than we can list! It was an amazing morning!

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We also headed to Moody Gardens Aquarium and enjoyed all the animals there. Image

This portion of the trip is only half over and there is so much more exciting things to come! 

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DC Was Fantastic Now onto Houston!

The Space Center student experience has been so busy and so much fun I simply haven’t had time to blog about it and for that I do apologize! The last few days in DC were filled with some incredible experiences such as a tour of Goddard Space Flight Center (including getting to see the James Webb Telescope being built), a tour of the monuments in Washington DC, a wander past the White House (unfortunately they are not doing tours of there currently) a trip to the American History Museum, a tour of the Air & Space Smithsonian that is on the National Mall, a visit to Downtown Annapolis as well as around the US Naval Academy and some more great encounters with some really interesting people including Piers Sellers.ImageImage
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Everyone realized that we could have spent a month in the DC area and still not seen absolutely everything so while we were sad to leave DC we had an incredible time there and are looking forward to our next stop…. Houston and the Johnson Space Center!

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Day 2 of the June Space Center Experience

Being in Washington DC makes for a prime opportunity to see the heart of the US Government so we arranged for the students to be able to take a tour of the US Capitol Building. 

But first to start the “events” of the day we headed to lunch near the Capitol Building with Astronaut George “Zambo” Zamka.

It was a great treat for the students to get to hear stories of his spaceflight and to get to ask him questions about how he came to be an astronaut, what made him want to become a pilot and anything else that came to mind to ask. Definitely a great opportunity!

After that it was time for The Capitol Tour where we got to see various parts of this incredible building including The Crypt as well as The Rotunda. The art and architecture of the whole place is absolutely incredible. 

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We learned about the history of The Capitol and how it has changed over the years. One thing of interest is that every state is allowed to have 2 statues in the Capitol at any given time. We thought it quite telling that Colorado chose this statue as 1 of the 2 allowed to represent them. 

 

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In addition to the tour we got the opportunity to go and sit in on actual sessions of Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Talk about a great chance to see government in action! 

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Unfortunately the weather was not particularly cooperative today so instead of touring all of the monuments that are outside we walked to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum instead and checked out all that had to offer.

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Apparently today wasn’t a day of just 1 astronaut… it was a 2 astronaut day as the group had dinner with astronaut Ken Ham where the students got the chance to ask him even more questions about why he became an astronaut.  

All in all I think it’s safe to say that it was a day full of unique opportunities and everyone had a great time! And it’s only Day 2… there are so many more to go!! Stay tuned!!

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Space Center Experience June 2013

One of the many incredible programs offered by ISSET is the Space Center Experience where students can come and visit the NASA Space Centers in the Washington DC area, Florida and Houston. Trips could include 1, 2 or even all of these options. Additionally it’s possible to create a custom experience as happened recently with a group who wanted to see New York City. 
http://isset.org/NASA_space_centre_visits/

The latest Space Center experience is underway with some UK University students – first stop on the tour… Washington DC!

On the first full day the students started off in a stellar excursion to the National Air & Space Museum UDvar Hazy extension at Dulles Airport where they got to see hundreds of amazing airplanes and perhaps the most majestic sight of all…. Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery. While their they got an incredible tour from a very knowledgable docent who worked as a Chemical Engineer at Cape Canaveral during the Mercury and Gemini programs.Image

Love this picture
http://instagram.com/p/aqc9OGKaaX/

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After the tour the students got to partake in a flight simulator that “took them on a tour” of the International Space Station.

Next stop on the trip was Arlington National Cemetery.  Arlington Cemetery honors those who have fallen in battle fighting for their country. The cemetery was also a memorable location from war film, Saving Private Ryan.

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At Arlington the students got the opportunity to see JFK’s grave with eternal flame, the changing of the guard which is a sacred and honored tradition, Memorials to the Challenger and Columbia Crews as well as a beautiful view of Washington DC.

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But the day wasn’t done after all that! For dinner we had the pleasure of the company of astronaut Ken Ham as well as Meredith Botnick who is an aerospace engineer, Navy pilot and space flight fan. Also joining us was Aaron Botnick a meteorologist and computer scientist. Needless to say it was a great dinner with fantastic conversation!

I’d say Day 1 was a success… Hope you’ll follow along for the rest of the trip!

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Mission Discovery Embry Riddle

Mission Discovery Embry Riddle

Ever wanted to spend a week working with an astronaut? Have an opportunity to compete to have an experiment of YOURS sent into space? Interested in a visit to Florida? Well I have just the thing for you then… Mission Discovery at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach Florida in late July 2013.

Come participate in an incredibly unique week long experience and see a fantastic Aerospace University with 2 “spacey” grads – astronaut Nicole Stott and myself!

Register today (April 10th) and get a $50 discount! Spread the word to as many people as you can! Let’s make the first Mission Discovery in the US… dare I say it…. OUT OF THIS WORLD!!

 

Embry Riddle Patch

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Join Us to See the Space Centers in Houston &/Or Florida

Join Us to See the Space Centers in Houston &/Or Florida

Ever want to check out Johnson Space Center in Houston and/or Kennedy Space Center in Florida? Here’s your chance to do so with other space enthusiasts and me! I have been fortunate enough to lead several of these trips for various groups of folks and we have some additional trips coming up… There are still spaces available for Houston & Florida in June if you want to join us! I can promise you lots of great space stuff, good food, great sightseeing and the chance to meet amazing people from NASA (including some astronauts!)

Don’t delay though… You certainly don’t want to miss out on this! Check out the link for full details!

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Everybody Loves an Astronaut

Don’t know if you all have seen these commercials from Axe but we think they are hilarious!! I especially love this one because I was in high school in the area that Bryce Drew was (and my school played his) so I have always been a big fan of his. Obviously he went on to play at Valparaiso University as well and I remember this actual shot very well!

I think this commercial is so timely too for me… We are currently working hard on all the details for a Mission Discovery at Valparaiso University in July of 2014 so stay tuned for those! In the meantime check out the video for a good laugh!

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