SSEP Mission 12 to the International Space Station (ISS)

Information to be determined is in RED TEXT below.
Information that is subject to change is in GREEN TEXT below.

Last update of this page: October 17, 2017, 1:52 pm ET


This is a NEW Flight Opportunity
The grand adventure continues with SSEP Mission 12 to the International Space Station—the fourteenth SSEP flight opportunity—with a flight experiment design competition in Fall 2017, and the flight of the Mercury SSEP experiments payload to ISS in Spring 2018.

Payload Ferry Flights and ISS Crew Data

Ferry Vehicle to ISS: expect ferry to be a SpaceX Dragon vehicle, currently projecting SpaceX-16

Launch Date: to be determined, expect Spring 2018, no earlier than June 1, 2018 (useful reference NASA Consolidated Launch Schedule at
Crew: none
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, if launched on SpaceX Falcon rocket with Dragon spacecraft; Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Virginia, if launched on Orbital Sciences Antares rocket with Cygnus spacecraft.

Berthing at ISS: 1 to 4 days after launch

Launch Date History:
Initial Launch Date: to be determined

Ferry Vehicle for Return to Earth: SpaceX Dragon, current expectation SpaceX-16
Crew: none
Unberth/Landing Date: to be determined
Landing Site: splashdown off the Pacific Coast of California
Payload Duration on ISS: nominally 4-6 weeks, but can be significantly longer, to be determined

Notable: visit the NASA ISS website for a comprehensive overview of ISS construction, on-orbit research, operations, crews, and multimedia galleries; read about the SpaceX Falcon rocket and Dragon spacecraft at; read about the Orbital Sciences Cygnus spacecraft and Antares rocket; read about the Soyuz TMA vehicle at

ISS Crew for SSEP Mission 12 Payload Operations: to be determined; (see Expeditions Schedule at

SSEP Mission 12 to ISS: Payload and Program Data

Payload Designation: SSEP14 – Mercury (named for NASA’s Project Mercury; starting with Mission 12 to ISS, SSEP experiment payloads are named for NASA human spaceflight programs; for SSEP Missions 5 to 11 experiment payloads were named for Apollo Command Modules; prior to Mission 5, payloads were named for Apollo Lunar Modules)

Number of Student Team Flight Experiments: 33; 31 communities, with 2 communities flying 2 experiments each
Payload: Suite of Fluids Mixing Enclosure (FMA – Mark II) Mini-laboratories
Stowage: NanoRacks Express Rack on ISS

The fourteenth SSEP flight opportunity—SSEP Mission 12 to the International Space Station—was announced by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education on March 5, 2017, with accompanying Video Clips describing SSEP by Center Director, Dr. Jeff Goldstein: Clip 1 (NASA), Clip 2 (NASA)

Current Status:
As of October 17, 2017: Mission 12 communities are engaged in experiment design and proposal writing

A List of Important SSEP Mission 12 to ISS Subpages:
SSEP Mission 12 to ISS: Critical Timeline
SSEP Mission 12 to ISS: Mini-Laboratory Operation
SSEP Mission 12 to ISS: Mission Patch Art and Design Competition

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.