Go For Launch!
AIAA Apollo Series
This event is part of the AIAA Apollo Series. The overall Series Winner will be invited to attend International Astronautical Congress in October 2019 and will have their experiment built and flown to the International Space Station. Open to students in grades 8-12 from any school or homeschool.
Team may be subject to change due to schedules.
Astronaut (Retired) Don Thomas
Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Thomas became an astronaut in July 1991. Dr. Thomas has served in the Safety, Operations Development, and Payloads Branches of the Astronaut Office. He was CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator) for Shuttle missions STS-47, 52 and 53. From July 1999 to June 2000 he was Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. A veteran of four space flights, STS-65, STS-70, STS-83 and STS-94, he has logged over 1,040 hours in space as a Mission Specialist.
Michelle Lucas spent 10+ years working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. First as part of the International Space Station (ISS) Payload Safety Review Panel (PSRP) and then in the Mission Operations Directorate as a Flight Controller in ISS Mission Control and as a Astronaut Instructor in the ISS Daily Operations Group. Additionally she worked with each of the International Partners (European Space Agency – ESA, Japanese Space Agency – JAXA and the Russian Space Agency) in the field of Daily Operations, Flight Controller and Instructor Training. Michelle was part of the Core NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) team for 9 missions where astronauts would carry out analog space missions underwater in the Aquarius habitat. Along the way, Michelle found she has a passion for launching the next generation’s dreams and ambitions. Her passion for inspiring students led to extensive work with other organizations in STEM outreach so she founded the non-profit Higher Orbits to use space to excite and inspire students about STEM, Leadership, Teamwork and Communication. Michelle is proud to be a Space Camp Alum, a member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame, and an AIAA Associate Fellow. She believes that collaboration in space and STEM is the key to the stars! Space Inspires!
An MSU Denver graduate in 2014 with a degree in Aerospace Systems Engineering Technology. Throughout his time at MSU Denver he was involved in multiple aerospace clubs that furthered his passion and interest for aerospace. He is now a systems engineer where he is able to leverage what he learned in school and apply it to industry problems.
Magens Orman graduated from MSU Denver in 2014 with an IDP in Aerospace Systems Design. She is currently employed by Sierra Nevada Corporation as a Mechanical and Systems Engineer having worked on everything from components to large scale spacecraft. She started at Metropolitan State College in 2008 as a Fine Arts major then found her path to space through a science elective. While in school, Magens was involved with multiple student organizations including the Orbital Mechanics Club, Student Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Since her graduation in 2014, Magens has gone on to lead several highschool and middle school STEM outreach efforts state wide, as well as work with university boards at MSU Denver and CU Boulder.