All 16 SSEP Experiments to be Reloaded in Mini-Lab in Prep for May 8 Endeavour Launch: Up to 9 Student Teams Re-submitting Experiment Samples

NCESSE received a de-brief this evening from NanoRacks and ITA regarding the plan for moving forward with payload flight readiness. We are now proceeding under the assumption of a May 8 launch.

The MDA mini-laboratory will be flushed of all existing experiment samples and sterilized on Monday May 2. The reload of experiment samples will begin Thursday evening, May 5, and is expected to be completed by midnight EDT Friday May 6. At 7:00 am EDT Saturday, May 7, the payload will be turned over to NASA for Shuttle integration.

ITA and NanoRacks expect that NASA will provide a more definitive statement regarding a May 8 launch, or a delay beyond May 8, before the MDA refill is scheduled to begin. Live video coverage of the MDA refill at the payload processing lab will begin Friday morning, May 6, on the Video Coverage of STS-134 page at the SSEP Community Network Hubsite.

NanoRacks and ITA have re-assessed the status of the experiment samples in storage at the payload processing lab for all 16 flight experiments (the extra samples submitted by the student flight teams for up to two reloads of the mini-lab). The samples for 10 experiments were deemed to be perishable or potentially perishable, and conversations with the Teacher Facilitators last week in light of the 72-hour scrub, and this weekend, in light of the now at least one week delay, have led to 9 teams planning or considering shipment of fresh samples to the lab.

The following flight experiment teams (with their Teacher Facilitator identified) are shipping fresh samples: 1) Orange County, FL (Lynn Mederos), 2) Jefferson County, KY (Imogen Herrick), 3) Zachary, LA (Circe Bridges: attempting to get new samples), 4) St. Mary’s County, MD (Sue Lewis), 5) Harry Burke, Omaha, NE (Amy Melvin: only honey being shipped), 6) Ballston Spa, NY (Diane Irwin: attempting to get new samples), 7) Guilford County, NC (Lenny Sue French: use existing, but understands there is an opportunity to get fresh samples), 8 ) El Paso, TX (Maria Alvarez), and 9) Canyons School District, UT (Jonathan Miller).


Shelton, CT (Mary Clark) has determined that the reload samples already at the lab can be used.

The following 6 student experiments were deemed by NanoRacks and ITA to use samples that were non-perishable and the lab is proceeding under the assumption that the reload samples already at the lab can be used: 1) Broward County, FL (Melissa Keefe), 2) Lincolnwood, IL (Sharon Churchwell), 3) Omaha North, NE (Susan Loder), 4) CCSD, NM (Amy John), 5) Portland, OR (Jennifer Kelley), and 6) Seattle, WA (Eric Muhs).

All Teacher Facilitators are advised to review the summary above and contact NCESSE if there are any concerns or discrepancies in the planning described.


One Response to All 16 SSEP Experiments to be Reloaded in Mini-Lab in Prep for May 8 Endeavour Launch: Up to 9 Student Teams Re-submitting Experiment Samples

  1. Dr. Gary Munn May 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    I am so glad to hear that there will still be 9 teams involved when the shuttle does lift off. I guess this teaches even young people a lesson-that anything that can go wrong will!!

    I am so proud of all the students and teachers who have put so much time into this “endeavour”. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!!), and just know that the students involved will make everyone proud soon, and especially in the future.

    This is the type of challenge that can be accomplished with a huge amount of inspiration and dedication on the part of Teachers and Students, results in one of the greatest Educational Opportunities I have ever witnessed. I just wish I could have been more actively involved. But, I am proud to say I acted as cheerleader while others did the work!!

    My fondest best wishes go out to all of you!!

    Dr. Gary R. Munn. PhD.

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.