SSEP on STS-135: Final Flight of Shuttle Atlantis

STS-135 Flight Data

Mission Number: STS-135
Orbiter: Atlantis
Launch Date: 11:29 am EDT, July 8, 2011
Landing Date: 5:57 am EDT, July 21, 2011
Launch Pad: 39A
Mission Duration: 13 days
Primary Payload: Raffaello multipurpose logistics module

Notable: final flight of U.S. Space Shuttle Program; 37th flight to International Space Station; crew of only 4; last flight with a crew of just 4 was STS-6 in 1983 on Space Shuttle Challenger

Crew: Christopher Ferguson, commander; Douglas Hurley, pilot; Sandra Magnus, and Rex Walheim, mission specialists.

Visit the NASA STS-135 webpage

SSEP on STS-135 Payload and Program Data

Payload Designation: SSEP2 – Intrepid (named for Apollo 12 Lunar Module)
Number of Student Experiments: 11
Payload: Materials Dispersion Apparatus Mini-Laboratory (MDA)
Stowage: Crew Cabin mid-deck locker

The second SSEP flight opportunity, for STS-135—the final flight of the U.S. Space Shuttle program—was announced by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) on December 22, 2010, with an accompanying Video Clip by Center Director, Dr. Jeff Goldstein.

As a result, 11 communities across the U.S. joined SSEP for STS-135, providing 11,000 grade 5-12 students, across 48 schools, the opportunity to design and propose real experiments to fly aboard Atlantis. Student teams submitted 530 proposals, from which 11 were selected to fly aboard STS-135—one for each community. Visit the SSEP Community Network Hubsite for the list of winning proposals, profiles of the participating communities, the SSEP In the News page, and thoughts on program impact from students, teachers, and administrators on the In Our Own Words page.

Current Status:
SSEP operations for STS-135 have now been completed; Student Teams reported preliminary results at the 2nd Annual SSEP National Conference, held July 6-7, 2012, at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC (see the 2012 SSEP National Conference page). Visit the SSEP on STS-135 Scientific Return and Reporting page for videos of conference oral presentations.

List of SSEP on STS-135 Subpages:
STS-135 Critical Timeline
STS-135 Mini-Laboratory Operation
STS-135 Mission Patch Competition
STS-135 Submission of Experiment Samples for Flight
STS-135 Harvesting of Experiment Samples
Launch Plans for STS-135

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.