8:00 pm May 5, 2011: STS-134 Launch

NCESSE received word from NanoRacks/ITA late this afternoon that today’s meeting at NASA did not establish a definitive launch date, and that the launch is now defined as No Earlier Than (NET) May 12, which is a change from this morning’s No Earlier Than May 10. Our payload operations must therefore drive against a May 12 launch. This change, however, has no impact on the current timeline for student flight teams to ship new samples given the timeline was established for a May 10-12 launch (see this blog post from earlier today.)

We have also received word that meetings at NASA will continue tomorrow. If the meetings result in a new definitive launch date of May 13 or later, or result in a new launch No Earlier Than May 13 or later, we will pass this new information along to all student teams via this blog … and provide a new schedule for shipment of perishable experiment samples, payload prep, and turnover to NASA.

So keep the faith, as our saga on the high frontier continues. To all the young scientists reading this—are you writing all this down in your journal? It’s going to be a great story to tell your children.


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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.