March 11, 2021

Congratulations to the Inaugural Higher Orbits Award Recipients

We at Higher Orbits are so fortunate to have so many stellar supporters. While we try and show our appreciation on a regular basis, we realized we wanted to do something “big” annually to recognize our top supporters. So we launched the Higher Orbits awards.  We’d like to share those awards and awardees with you!

2020 Outstanding Volunteer – Brian Chapman

You know those awesome Space at Home patches for each kit? Yep, Brian designed those! The out of this world Go For Launch! flyers and brochures? Yep, Brian has designed almost all of those too for the past few years! Did you see the cool Space Prom patch our student participants received for that event last year? Yep, that’s Brian’s handiwork too!

Brian has such an ability to take our branding and create wonderful graphics and designs that give you a feel for who we are. We just happened to meet him through VolunteerMatch! Truly, Brian has become the volunteer we honestly couldn’t survive without!

Check out this video to learn more about Brian and the galactically great support he so kindly gives to Higher Orbits!

(Video created by our awesome intern Katie L.)

2020 Stellar Student Ambassador – Sophia Crowder

If you’re on Instagram and you’re not following @sophicalifragilistech you are missing out on stellar STEM/STEAM, Space and out of this world positivity! Sophie came to Go For Launch! in Durham, NC. She was so interested in space that her Mom drove her all the way from Virginia to be part of this event.  Since that event a few years ago, we’ve had the honor of getting to know Sophie even more so through a wide range of interactions ranging from social media to conferences to Higher Orbits Space at Home and even a trip to New Mexico to watch the launch attempt for her team’s experiment that is planned to go to space!

We feel so fortunate that our orbit crossed with Sophie’s and we are thrilled to have her as such a stellar ambassador! Check out this video to learn more about Sophie and her stellar support!

(Video created by stellar student Zach P. who has been part of our programs.)

2020 Above & Beyond Astronaut Award – Astronaut Don Thomas

Words will never truly be able to adequately express our gratitude to Astronaut Don Thomas. He has from the beginning been one of our biggest supporters and one person who we know we can always count on… even when we throw crazy ideas at him! He has supported Go For Launch!  more than any other Astronaut and has been a crucial contributor to Higher Orbits Space at Home.

Don is an incredible mentor to all the students he works with. He’s committed to inspiring the next generation of STEMists and Explorers and we are so honored to collaborate with him

Check out this video that shares more about Don and his out of this world support of Higher Orbits! 

(Video created by our awesome intern Katie L.)

Congratulations to all the 2020 Higher Orbits Award Winners!

We like to say it takes a village to send students dreams to space… it does! And thanks to the support of so many, especially these three top supporters, we are honored to work with stellar students across the country to inspire them to dream big and reach for the stars!

Blog by Michelle

About the author

Michelle Lucas Founder & President of Higher Orbits Michelle spent 10 years working at NASA primarily in International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control Operations Planning and as an Astronaut Instructor in the Daily Operations Group. Her passion for inspiring students led to extensive work with other organizations in STEM outreach. She then decided to form Higher Orbits to continue to work to inspire students about the wonders of STEM through spaceflight.

Michelle Lucas


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