At 4:47 am EST the SpaceX CRS-5 Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The 17 student research experiments comprising the SSEP Mission 6 to ISS Yankee Clipper II payload were aboard. Also aboard were 28 mission patches to accompany the Mission 6 experiments, which were selected from 8,030 submitted across the Mission 6 communities through SSEP art and design competitions. An additional 23 mission patches for Mission 5 were also aboard, which were selected from 7,169 submissions across the Mission 5 communities, but did not make it aboard the Mission 5 flight in July 2014 on Orb-2 as part of the Mission 5 Charlie Brown payload.
In case you missed this mornings very early launch, you can watch below. The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to be grappled at the International Space Station at 6:12 am EST by Commander Barry Wilmore.
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 NanoRacks LLC, 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.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.