SSEP Mission 6 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: September 28, 2015, 3:50 pm ET

Payload Ferry Flights and ISS Crew Data

Ferry Vehicle to ISS: Space X CRS-5 (originally on Orb-3, rocket destroyed on launch)
Launch Date: January 10, 2015, 4:30 am ET
Crew: none
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Berthing at ISS: Dragon was grappled by the station’s robotic arm at 5:54 am on January 12, 2015

Launch Date History:
Initial Launch Date: October 21, 2014
Rescheduled: to NET October 14, 2014
Rescheduled: to NET October 18, 2014
Rescheduled: to NET October 20, 2014, 9:29 pm ET
Rescheduled: to NET October 24, 2014, 7:52 pm ET
Rescheduled: to NET October 27, 2014, 6:44 pm ET
Rescheduled: to October 28, 2014, 6:22 pm ET (Orb-3 rocket destroyed on launch)

Manifested for re-launch on SpaceX-5: December 16, 2014, 2:31 pm ET
Rescheduled: to December 19, 2014, 1:20 pm ET
Rescheduled: to January 6, 2015, 6:20 am ET
Rescheduled: to January 9, 2015, 5:09 am ET
Launch: January, 10, 2015, 4:30 am ET

Historical note: After a number of delays, Yankee Clipper was set to launch on October 28, 2014, aboard Orb-3, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Wallops Island, Virginia. Over 130 SSEP delegates were on site to see the launch, only 1.7 miles away from Pad-0A. All 18 experiments were lost on launch failure and subsequent detonation of the rocket by Range Safety. Many delegates were knocked over by the pressure wave from the detonation, which reached the viewing site less than 2 seconds after the fireball was observed. Through a herculean effort put forth by the student flight teams, 17 of 18 experiments were reconstituted as the Yankee Clipper II payload, and delivered to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston for payload integration by November 21, 2014 – just 3 weeks after the loss. Yankee Clipper II launched on January 10, 2015, aboard SpaceX-5.

For the remarkable story involving loss and recovery, see the following blog posts:
The Loss of Orb-3 and SSEP Yankee Clipper: Failure Happens. What we do in the face of failure is what defines us.
NASA Press Release on Yankee Clipper Re-flight, w NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden
LIFTOFF of SpaceX-5 and SSEP Yankee Clipper II

Ferry Vehicle for Return to Earth: SpaceX-5
Crew: none
Unberth/Landing Date: February 10, 2015
Landing Site: Pacific, off the California coast
Payload Duration on ISS: 30 days

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 6 Payload Operations: Expedition 42
Station Commander Barry Wilmore (USA); Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev (Russia); Anton Shklaplerov (Russia), Terry Virts (USA), Samantha Cristoforetti (ESA), Elena Serova (Russia). (see Expeditions Schedule at

SSEP Mission 6 to ISS: Payload and Program Data

Payload Designation: SSEP8 – Yankee Clipper (named for Apollo 12 Command Module; starting with Mission 5 to ISS, SSEP experiments payloads are named for Apollo Command Modules; prior to Mission 5, payloads were named for Apollo Lunar Modules). Reconstituted SSEP8b – Yankee Clipper II after the loss of the payload on Orb-3.

Number of Student Team Flight Experiments: 18
Payload: Suite of Fluids Mixing Enclosure (FMA – Mark II) Mini-laboratories
Stowage: NanoRacks Express Rack on ISS

The eighth SSEP flight opportunity—SSEP Mission 6 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 October 3, 2013, with an accompanying Video Clip by Center Director, Dr. Jeff Goldstein.

Current Status:
After the loss of the Yankee Clipper payload of Mission 6 experiments, 17 of 18 experiments were re-flown on SpaceX-5 as Yankee Clipper II in January 2015 and returned to Earth in February 2015. A number of teams reported results at the SSEP 2015 National Conference in Washington, DC, July 2-3, 2015. The 18th Mission 6 experiment  lost on Orb-3 was lost again along with the Mission 7 Odyssey experiments payload, with the destruction of SpaceX-7 in June 2015. This last Mission 6 experiment is scheduled to refly with the Mission 7 Odyssey II payload aboard SpaceX-8 in likely Winter 2015-16.

A List of Important SSEP Mission 6 to ISS Subpages:
SSEP Mission 6 to ISS: Critical Timeline
SSEP Mission 6 to ISS: Mini-Laboratory Operation
SSEP Mission 6 to ISS: Mission Patch Art and Design Competition
SSEP Mission 6 to ISS: Flight Operations
→ SSEP Mission 6 to ISS: Experiment Log
Launch Viewing Plans for Orb-3, Fall 2014

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.