SSEP for STS-134 Important Update: February 24, 2011

Significant Update to the SSEP Website

The SSEP main Website ( has undergone a significant update to both navigation and content so that it can easily support concurrent programs at once, including: SSEP1 on the flight of STS-134, SSEP2 on the flight of STS-135, and SSEP3 which will be the first program on the International Space Station.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the new navigation, most notably (as seen in the navigation banner at the top of each page) the new Current Flight Opportunities page, and its sub-pages on STS-134 and STS-135.

STS-134 Launch Plans at Kennedy Space Center

NCESSE is locking down final plans for viewing the launch of STS-134 by SSEP students, teachers, and family members from across the nation. NASA is providing SSEP a common location to view the launch, we are planning a half-day meeting for everyone to get-together, and we’ve developed guidance on all logistics, including flight time and hotels. Everyone is urgently directed to the new Launch Plans for STS-134 page at the main SSEP website.

SSEP Emblems (Mission Patches) Update

We have renamed the “SSEP Emblems’ as “SSEP Mission Patches” which is a far more fitting name. Earlier this month, Jeff Goldstein, NCESSE Center Director, personally hand-carried all 14 submitted Mission Patches in a protective binder to Jeffrey Manber, Managing Director of NanoRacks, for integration into the SSEP payload on STS-134.

At the SSEP Community Network Hubsite there is a new Mission Patches page where you can read about the concept, and see all the Patches submitted for flight. You’ll also note that Canyons School District and Ballston Spa both submitted a short write-up on the design competitions in their communities and submitted it with their Patches. The write-ups were so powerful that we decided to include these on the page.

To the leadership in all SSEP communities that submitted a Mission Patch, we invite you to submit a write-up on the Mission Patch design competition in your community that we will add to the page. Please keep length consistent with the write-ups already on the page.

National Conference in Washington, DC  
NCESSE has been working with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) to explore whether the SSEP National Conference could be held at the Museum in late June or early July. The conference would be a venue where student teams – and not just those whose experiments moved on to flight – could have their own conference, with students conducting oral and poster presentations on their experiment designs. The idea is to give the students participating in SSEP the ability to be immersed in the experience of a real science conference (see #7 on the Community Program page.)  And the prospect of the SSEP National Conference taking place in the most visited museum on the planet, and in their new Moving Beyond Earth gallery with the gallery open to the public, so the public can view the conference, is pretty amazing.

A proposal for the conference has been submitted by the Museum’s Education Department to an internal committee. We expect to hear the committee’s ruling by March 15, 2011.

n Our Own Words Page – Another Request

If you haven’t yet, check out the In Our Own Words page at the SSEP Community Network Hubsite. It provides powerful reflections on the impact of SSEP. We can definitely use more quotes from your community leadership, teachers, students, parents, and funders. Currently we only have quotes representing 4 communities. To send a quote for inclusion, use the Contact page.

SSEP In the News Page – Reminder

The SSEP In the News page is now up-to-date with links to all articles that have been provided by the SSEP Community Network. Communities are encouraged to provide links on an ongoing basis to NCESSE for inclusion.

SEP Community Blogs Update

As we move into the SSEP launch phase for STS-134, NOW is a good time to get your Community Blogs operational. If what is stopping you are the multiple resource pages that provide background on your community and SSEP program, we have the ability to remove pages and simplify your Blog navigation. Contact us if you want to simply your navigation.

The SSEP on-orbit 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.

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The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.