Press Release – Louisville Go For Launch! 2017

For more information, contact:
Michelle Lucas,, 281-451-5343


Higher Orbits nonprofit invests in Louisville for annual STEM program
Virginia-based nonprofit and Astronaut Frank Culbertson announce dates for student program at the Kentucky Science Center

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (January 19, 2017) – After two successful years in a row at the Kentucky Science Center, Virginia-based nonprofit Higher Orbits has committed to having Louisville as an annual destination for their Go For Launch! science program for students, alongside San Diego, Washington D.C., Austin and other locations across the country. Go For Launch! fosters the engagement of students around the United States with STEM curriculum, focusing on space sciences. Students that attend the camp will define and design an experiment they would like to see carried out in space, while having lessons and receiving feedback from retired astronaut Frank Culbertson and other space and STEM professionals.

This three-day program is open to all students, Grades 8-12, who have any interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. The program will take place from Feb. 25-27, 2017, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Kentucky Science Center and will include morning and afternoon snacks as well as lunch. Registration is available online at

“It’s an honor to come back to Louisville in partnership with the Kentucky Science Center as our host location. I think it’s incredibly important to bring this event to communities across the country that might otherwise have little access to space-related education. As a former little girl that had minimal access to space-related information, I know that this program will be empowering to students as they formulate ideas for their future and hopefully inspire the next generation of STEMists,” says Michelle Lucas, Founder and President of Higher Orbits.

Student teams will work on collaborative activities each day and will define and design their own space experiment. On the final day of the program, the students will present their ideas to a panel of judges from the Space and STEM fields, including Astronaut Trainer and Higher Orbits Founder Michelle Lucas, Retired Astronaut Frank Culbertson, and other space and STEM professionals.

Retired Astronaut Frank Culbertson explains, “I am very excited to be invited to support the upcoming Go for Launch event in Louisville 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. 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. 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 outcome of this program? A chance to fly their experiment to the International Space Station.

How? Higher Orbits works with a Lexington-based company, Space Tango, that coordinates the accommodation and launching of experiments to the International Space Station.

The winners of the Go For Launch! challenge will compete against the other cities’ winners for a spot on the International Space Station. The winning experiment from the Andromeda Division in 2016 (which Louisville was a part of) is scheduled to fly in March 2017.

Starting at a deposit of $10, students can register for this program today through Tuesday, January 31. Scholarship opportunities are available thanks to local sponsors. Contact Michelle Lucas for more details at

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 and is excited to be holding events across the US in 2017. To learn more visit

Contact: Michelle Lucas
Founder/President of Higher Orbits – 501(c)(3) non-profit

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

Partner: Kentucky Science Center

Crescent Hill Craft House, My World Travel, Heine Brothers Coffee, Louisville Water, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Space Tango, Kentucky Space, Space Shirts

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