10:30 am EDT May 5, 2011: Important STS-134 Launch Update

NCESSE was informed by NanoRacks and ITA this morning that NASA has scheduled a meeting at 12:00 pm EDT today to assess launch status for STS-134. We expect to hear an update today. If new information indicates a launch no earlier than May 13, then this will greatly impact the current shipping timeline for the 9 student experiment teams preparing fresh samples for shipment as early as today. To review the shipping timeline that we are currently driving against for a May 10-12 launch, please see this May 3 SSEP National Blog Post.


1. If we hear by mid-afternoon today that the launch remains scheduled in the May 10-12 window: then we are still driving against the current shipping timeline, and student teams should still have time to FedEx their samples today (Thursday, May 5) for delivery tomorrow (Friday, May 6). ITA has also stated this morning that they see no problem with Saturday delivery to the lab, which means samples can also be shipped tomorrow (Friday, May 6) for arrival no later than the 10:30 am Saturday, May 7 deadline. However, we strongly advise all teams to check in advance with their FedEx office to get Saturday arrival times based on their proposed date/time of drop-off of their package at FedEx.

2. If we hear by mid-afternoon today that the launch is scheduled no earlier than May 13: then we will put up a new blog post with a revised schedule for shipping of samples, loading of the mini-lab, and payload turn-over to NASA.

As soon as we hear something today we will post new information on this blog.



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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.