Contact: Michelle Lucas
Higher Orbits

Higher Orbits Brings GO FOR LAUNCH! To Lexington

Nonprofit Uses Space Exploration to Foster Student Engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

May 11, 2016Leesburg, Va.—Higher Orbits today announced that it will host Go For Launch! at Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) August 5-7, 2016. Students in the Lexington area will have the opportunity to participate in the three-day program that that uses space exploration as a platform to launch student engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), STEAM (Art); teamwork; communication; and leadership.


Through their participation in Go For Launch! students learn about human spaceflight and get insight and feedback through a variety of talks delivered by experienced space and STEM professionals. Speakers scheduled to participate in this event include retired Astronaut Frank Culbertson, former ISS Flight Controller and Astronaut Instructor Michelle Lucas , Kris Kimel Founder of Exomedicine Institute, Space Tango President Twyman Clements, Ellie Puckett Director of Business Operations Space Tango, Space Enthusiast & Educator Katie Kubitskey, and others. The goal is to illustrate the numerous opportunities that exist in STEM-related careers.


“I am very excited to be invited to support the upcoming Go for Launch event in Lexington this summer as the visiting astronaut. I know that this will be a great opportunity for students in the local area to learn more about spaceflight, and more importantly, to learn what the challenges and possibilities are for their own futures in science, technology, engineering, and math. Under the leadership of experienced former flight controller and astronaut instructor, Michelle Lucas, the participants will be exposed to and inspired by several experienced professionals in these fields, and have the chance to have ALL their questions answered,” says Frank Culbertson, Retired Astronaut. “As for me, I am looking forward to sharing my experiences in space with them, but mostly I look forward to what I will learn from the students…and I always do learn from them!”


The students will participate in collaborative activities and develop the idea for a space experiment, which they will present to a panel of judges in the space and STEM fields (including an astronaut). The judges will choose a winner at each Go For Launch! event. Winners from each event in the division will compete for the divisional title and those winners will have their experiments launched into space.


“As someone who grew up in love with space travel but without many options to have interactions where I could learn more,” said Michelle Lucas, Founder of Higher Orbits, “I’m excited to be able to bring the Go For Launch! program right to students in their hometown areas. Space inspires and I can’t wait to share that message with the students Kentucky.”


Go For Launch! will run August 5-7, 2016 for high school aged students and will be held at Bluegrass Community & Technical College – 164 Opportunity Way, Lexington. Registration for students is $250 and includes all supplies and meals. To register, or for more information, please visit


“We are excited to host “Go For Launch” – It dovetails nicely with BCTC’s NASA Career Exploration program. It’s important for our communities to expose young students to the careers available in the STEM areas, and to make sure they understand that there are pathways for them to achieve those dreams,” says Laura Lynch – Technical Cooperative Education & Placement Coordinator; Bluegrass Community & Technical College “Go For Launch! is one more way to achieve our mission to provide access to a quality education.”


Higher Orbits is supported by Intergalactic Sponsors: Space Tango, Kentucky Space, and eddi who help make all Go For Launch! events possible. Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels for individual events, divisions, or the overall program. For more details please contact Michelle Lucas at or call 707-893-STAR.

“Space Tango is extremely excited to partner with Higher Orbits and the Go For Launch! camps, it promotes creativity, critical thinking, and STEM as a career choice. These core values align with Space Tango perfectly,” says Ellie Puckett, Director of Business Operations Space Tango, Inc.

About Higher Orbits

Higher Orbits is a 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); along with leadership, teamwork, and communication through the use of spaceflight. Mankind’s journey into space serves as an ideal launchpad to excite students of all ages about STEM and working to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. Higher Orbits uses a variety of programs and partnerships with other organizations to achieve these goals. To learn more visit


About Astronaut (Retired) Frank Culbertson

Captain Frank Culbertson (US Navy, Retired) flew as the pilot on STS-38 and the Commander of STS-51. He then served as the Shuttle-Mir Program Manager before flying to the International Space Station as the Commander of Expedition 3. Today, Culbertson serves as the President of the Space Systems Group at Orbital ATK. To learn more, visit


About Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC)

Bluegrass Community & Technical College offers a first-rate, affordable and convenient postsecondary education. BCTC has more than 40 programs of study that can lead to high-wage, high-demand careers at six campuses within a 30-minute drive of 95% of Central Kentuckians. Our college offers students many choices for classes, courses, programs, and training for a better life ahead. Whether students are looking for a good paying job or taking courses to transfer to a four-year college or university, they will benefit from BCTC’s caring, experienced professors, helpful staff, and excellent facilities. Through comprehensive and responsive programs and services, the college sustains a strong partnership with our communities to improve economic vitality and quality of life in the region.


About Space Tango

Space Tango Inc. (Lexington, Ky) designs and builds hardware and software platforms that enable microgravity research. The companies first product TangoLab-1 will be installed into the International Space Station in June 2016. The platform allows multiple experiments in CubeLabs to run simultaneously, sending each experiments data back to earth in near-real-time through a Customer Portal. Space Tango Inc is innovating in Space for solutions on Earth.


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