NASA has formally rescheduled the launch of STS-134 from mid-November 2010 to 4:19 pm EST – Feb 26, 2011.
You will recall that moving forward with SSEP required a delay until at least mid-January 2011. On our Critical Timeline found on the How to Participate page we also stated that NASA needed to announce the delay by August 1, 2010 if SSEP was to move forward. WE ARE HAPPY TO REPORT WE ARE NOW PAST THIS CRITICAL MILESTONE.
1. This DOES NOT CHANGE the August Milestone dates on the Critical Timeline, which address the deadline for Letter of Commitment of Funding (August 2), and an assessment if the number of experiment slots required to be booked have been met (August 3).
2. This DOES CHANGE the amount of time student teams have before their proposals are due. Submission of the list of proposed samples to fly must be submitted to NASA Flight Safety Review 90 days in advance of launch, which now presumably slides from October 15 to November 26. This means that students now have more than an additional month to work on their experiments before their proposals are due. THAT IS GREAT NEWS.
The new schedule allows for students to begin work as soon as your new academic year begins (a contract must be signed by then), and their proposals are due roughly November 7, 2010.
3. As soon as we formally lock down the new milestone dates across the SSEP Team, we’ll revise the Critical Timeline on the How to Participate page to reflect the new launch schedule, and send out a new SSEP Blog Post.