SSEP Needs You

A Call to Action
We are working hard to design more extensive student experiment opportunities for the International Space Station (ISS) than is currently available through the SSEP student flight opportunity on STS-134. We’re working on the development of larger mini-labs, minilabs that can perform a range of experimental tasks, and which provide student teams the ability to receive data—including video—from ISS streamed back to Earth. We are also working to expand SSEP internationally to ISS partner and participant nations.

We want SSEP to be a bold new standard for large-scale science education programs. Yet dramatically expanding capability in existing programs takes significant upfront revenue, so …


You Can … Help Us Generate Revenue

The net profit from anything you buy at Store Galactica, our online store, directly supports our programs. We’ve even created an illuminated crystal keychain and crystal sculpture to celebrate the U.S. Space Shuttle program.


Make a tax-deductible donation. Any amount you designate—even $5—has the power to help us deliver programs. Contributions to the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, a project of the 501 (c)(3) non-profit Tides Center, are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

You Can … Shop at through our Affiliates Link

For ALL your purchases at, please go to Amazon through our Affiliates Link below, and remember to bookmark this page! You can also visit our Staff Picks page at Store Galactica for Amazon products.

There Are Many Other Ways You Can Help

For more information, visit the How You can Help page at the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education website.

SSEP—What We Are Trying to Do

Our Purpose
We believe that to continue the legacy of scientific exploration, every generation must be inspired to learn what we know about our world and the Universe, and how we have come to know it.

Our Pedagogy
We believe that learners must see themselves in the stories we tell, and experience scientific exploration through their own involvement.

Our Approach to Programs
We believe that it takes a community to educate a child…
and a network of communities to reach a generation.

At the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), these core beliefs are the foundation for everything we do. It’s a philosophy that embraces the fundamental nature of how we as a species of explorers learn about our world—as individuals, as part of a local community, and as part of the greater context of human endeavor. Every child has the ability to take the human race where we have never been. Every teacher is a link between the legacy of human exploration and what awaits the next generation.

It’s the fundamental philosophy embraced when designing the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)—student as scientist, immersed in a celebration of learning across their local community, and NCESSE supporting a network of such communities across the nation. And what better way to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers than to let our children explore on the high frontier—by providing students the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in space. It’s now possible via commercial payloads flying on Shuttle, and to the International Space Station.

The flight opportunity on STS-134 is only the first step for SSEP. The flight of Endeavour will be used as a gateway to SSEP Phase 2—sustainable, ongoing access to space for grade 5-12 students inspired to propose experiments for low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station, with transport aboard the NanoRacks manifest of cargo ships after the Space Shuttle era comes to a close.

The SSEP on-orbit research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

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.