July 2, 2021

Edge of Space Contest Winners for Artwork and Student-Led Research Take Flight

Selected artwork and student-led research projects from Higher Orbits flew onboard the Neptune One Test Flight from Space Perspective which achieved its target altitude of 108,409 feet and splashed down just off the coast of Florida on June 18, 2021. 

The cargo aboard Neptune One included multiple pieces of artwork from the public art competition held by Higher Orbits this Summer, asking artists to provide illustrations of exploring the world we live in and communicating the human experience. The public art competition was hosted in partnership with Space Perspective

All electronic artwork submissions that met the design criteria were flown electronically, but the following artists had their actual physical artwork onboard the test flight of Neptune One:

  • Age Group 0-6: Joel Mitchell

  • Age Group 7-11: Ava Crowder & Lennan Kiley  

  • Age Group 12-16: Boula Ross & Emma Lamoureux

  • Age Group 17-20: Anastasia Cook & Lordina Mensah

  • Age Group 21+: Annette Winkler & Kevin O’Brien

Higher Orbits also held an artwork competition open to all past Higher Orbits students and included those winning works. The Higher Orbits alumni selected to have their artwork flown in the Neptune One cargo are: Caroline Wenks, Izzi Bradley, Nicolas Jepsen, Nikhita Penugonda, and Sierra Varon.

Additionally, the flight featured two student-led research experiments selected from the Higher Orbits Space at Home Edge of Space Kit competition. 

One experiment from Kiera Fehr and Kate Hastings of Team Kosmos measured the sun’s magnetic field to confirm solar minimum, the time when the sun is least active. “With this data, we will have better predictions and solidified data on when these cycles are set to occur, and therefore be able to predict when our systems (such as military defense and power grids of entire cities) could be weakened or completely at risk,” Team Kosmos shared. 

A second experiment, from Izzi and JJ Bradley on Team 2, measured the effects of the flight environment on memory materials that are made to hold a particular shape. “We hope that learning how this material behaves in low gravity might be accounted for by further construction of scientific materials, both here at Space at Home, and in a much broader sense, the world,” Team 2 reflected.

Research analysis is underway now that the cargo has returned and Team Kosmos and Team 2 look to share their discoveries with the Higher Orbits community. 

Congratulations, artists and researchers! 

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